Pump prices in Maryland dropped at least nine cents in the last week
By: Ragina C. Ali, AAA Mid-Atlantic
Gas prices spent another week decreasing at pumps, both locally and nationally. Pump prices in Maryland are 44 cents lower than this time last year. Drivers are seeing some stations selling gas for under $2 in Maryland. Pump prices continue to decline around the country as oil prices have decreased significantly in response to the increasing public health and economic impact of COVID-19 and the crude price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $2.17, which is down respectively nine cents in the last week, 20 cents in the last month, and 44 cents from this date last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.17, down respectively 13 cents in the last week, 28 cents in the last month and 41 cents from this time last year. The national average has not dropped to this level since December 2016.
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline
|Today||Week Ago||Month Ago||Year Ago|
|Washington Suburbs(MD only)||$2.27||$2.38||$2.47||$2.67|
|Crude Oil||$22.53per barrel(3/20/20)||$31.73per barrel(3/12/20)||$53.38per barrel(2/21/20)||$59.04per barrel(3/22/19)|
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $22.53 per barrel, $9.20 lower than last Friday’s close. Crude prices increased Thursday after reports emerged that the U.S. is attempting to intervene in the crude price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. According to reports, the Trump administration may threaten Russia with sanctions and is using diplomatic pressure on Saudi Arabia. Additionally, crude prices increased after the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it would request $3 billion from Congress to purchase crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the U.S. Treasury Department suggested that the federal government should purchase $20 billion in oil to prop up prices. With limited storage capacity and uncertainty around how much time it may take to stop COVID-19, the ability of these efforts to sustain higher crude prices is highly uncertain.
“COVID-19 has pushed gas prices down dramatically for the last 10 days with some states seeing drops of two cents or more in one day,” says Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “AAA expects gas prices to continue this downward trend, with the likelihood of the national average hitting $2 per gallon before the end of March.”
The Week Ahead
Crude prices could continue to decrease as global demand is likely to slump as countries throughout the world face quarantine. In the U.S., less demand in the coming weeks could push pump prices even lower, as Americans drive less due to working from home and school closures.