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By: Ragina C Ali, AAA Mid-Atlantic
The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has reached $2 for the first time since the end of March. Gas prices across the country have seen dramatic decreases as a result of a sharp drop in both the demand for gasoline and the price of crude oil. As many states have started to reopen and Americans head back out on the road, gas prices have started to increase.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $2.02, which is up respectively one cent in the last week and 15 cents in the last month, but down 68 cents from this date last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $2, up respectively three cents in the last week and 22 cents in the last month, but down 79 cents 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)||$2.09||$2.09||$2.01||$2.81|
|Crude Oil||$39.55per barrel(6/5/20)||$35.49per barrel(5/29/20)||$24.74per barrel(5/8/20)||$53.99per barrel(6/7/19)|
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $39.55 per barrel, $4.06 higher than last Friday’s close. The price of crude has increased each day this week but concerns still linger over whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) will be able to agree on an extension of production cuts. The group is expected to meet soon to discuss the cuts. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported this week that crude oil inventory decreased last week but analysts feel that the amount of crude still remaining in storage will keep up with the increasing demand.
“Americans are slowly but steadily returning to the road, causing gas prices to increase across the country,” says Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “As Maryland continues to reopen and pump prices increase, drivers are still filling up at about 70 cents per gallon less than this time last year.”
The Week Ahead
While AAA does not expect gas prices to reach the same levels as one year ago, unforeseen events, like a hurricane, can cause an increase. Tropical Depression Cristobal is expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico Friday night and head toward the northern Gulf Coast, making landfall as a tropical storm by Sunday. Should it strengthen to hurricane status before making landfall, it could pose a threat to the Gulf Coast region’s oil refineries.