Crude oil settled at a record low of -$37.63 this week, pushing pump prices lower
BY: Ragina C. Ali, AAA Mid-Atlantic
Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has dropped by six cents to $1.78. The national gas price average has declined for nine straight weeks. After weeks of decreasing demand levels, crude and gasoline storage capacities are reaching their limits, meaning prices will continue to drop.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $1.91, which is down respectively two cents in the last week, 20 cents in the last month, and 88 cents from this date last year. Maryland’s statewide average has been under $2 for three weeks.
The national gas price average is $1.78, down respectively four cents in the last week, 32 cents in the last month and $1.08 from this time last year.
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline
|Today||Week Ago||Month Ago||Year Ago|
|Washington Suburbs(MD only)||$2.05||$2.07||$2.23||$2.86|
|Crude Oil||$16.94per barrel(4/24/20)||$18.27per barrel(4/17/20)||$21.51per barrel(3/27/20)||$63.30per barrel(4/26/19)|
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $16.94 per barrel, $1.33 lower than last Friday’s close. On Monday, WTI made history by settling in negative territory (-$37.63). The negative number was the result of the inability to find a place to store the massive oversupply of crude. Although crude rallied later in the week and has been trading in positive numbers again, crude prices are more than $45 lower than this time last year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories rose once again, marking a 13th straight weekly climb.
“The majority of Maryland drivers are seeing gas prices under $2 per gallon and many are seeing prices under $1.90,” says Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Typically, April and May would see a peak for gas prices just ahead of the summer driving season but this year, with so much supply and so little demand, prices are likely to buck that trend.”
The Week Ahead
U.S. consumption of petroleum products has fallen to its lowest level in decades due to measures limiting travel and general economic slowdown induced by mitigation efforts for COVID-19. The U.S. EIA estimates the decline in petroleum product demand averaged 14.1 million barrels per day – the lowest level in EIA’s weekly data series, which dates back to the early 1990s. In 2019, the U.S. consumed an average of about 20.46 million barrels of petroleum products per day.