By: Regina C. Ali, AAA Mid-Atlantic
As stay-at-home restrictions ease in some regions, the demand for gasoline is on the rise. Local drivers are seeing gas price increases of about a nickel across Maryland, but many drivers are still paying at least 87 cents less than one year ago. AAA says the increase in prices is due to more and more people returning to work.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $1.90, which is up four cents in the last week, but down respectively four cents in the last month and 87 cents from this date last year. Maryland’s statewide average has been under $2 for six weeks.
Today’s national gas price average is $1.86, up respectively four cents in the last week, two cents in the last month and down $1 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)||$2.03||$2.01||$2.09||$2.85|
|Crude Oil||$29.43per barrel(5/15/20)||$24.74per barrel(5/8/20)||$18.27per barrel(4/17/20)||$62.76per barrel(5/17/19)|
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $29.43 per barrel, $4.69 higher than last Friday’s close. Today’s closing price ends a week where crude prices stayed above $25 and reached a high price not seen since early April. Oil prices increased during the week as U.S. government data showed an unexpected weekly decline in domestic crude supplies – the first in 16 weeks – easing a storage crisis, and declines in total oil production. Global oil prices were also boosted in recent days by Saudi Arabia’s pledge to cut its oil production by an additional one million barrels per day, starting in June, on top of cuts outlined in the deal between Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) and its allies that kicked in on May 1.
“Pump prices are fluctuating throughout Maryland and across the country as demand increases and gasoline stocks decrease,” says Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The boost in demand continues to push pump prices up nationwide, as more states re-open businesses.”
The Week Ahead
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects U.S. crude oil production to fall in 2020 and 2021 as efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 continue to result in a drastic drop in demand for petroleum products and crude oil prices. The EIA’s May Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts that U.S. crude oil production will average 11.7 million barrels per day in 2020 and 10.9 million barrels per day in 2021. These levels would be lower than the 2019 average of 12.2 million barrels per day.