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Drivers in Maryland saw prices at the pump continue to decline this week. In the new weekly report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand saw a slight uptick however, it is still lower than where it was at this time last year. Lower demand has helped pump prices decline this week, and will likely help pump prices continue their descent as fall approaches.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $2.23, down respectively three cents in the last week and two cents from last month, but is down 31 cents from this date last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.18, down two cents in the last week, up a penny in the last month, and down 47 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)||$2.27||$2.28||$2.28||$2.65|
|Crude Oil||$41.11per barrel(9/18/20)||$37.33per barrel(9/11/20)||$42.34per barrel(8/21/20)||$58.09per barrel(9/20/19)|
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $41.11 per barrel, $3.78 higher than last Friday’s close. Domestic crude prices increased after EIA’s weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories decreased last week, which could signal that supply and demand are beginning to rebalance, even as crude production grew last week. Crude prices may continue to increase if supplies grow tighter, but demand challenges could contain potential growth in prices.
“Typically lower supply levels translate into higher pump prices. However, even with consistent declines in gasoline stocks, that’s just not the case right now,” says Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Despite the steady supply dip, continued low levels of demand helped push local and national gas prices cheaper on the week.”
The Week Ahead
Mid-September is when gas stations make the switch to winter-blend gasoline, which is less expensive to produce than summer-blend gasoline. The difference between the two blends comes down to Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP), which is a measure of how easily the fuel evaporates at a given temperature. The higher – or more volatile – the RVP, the more able it is to evaporate at low temperatures. Winter-blend has a higher RVP, which allows the fuel to evaporate at low temperatures for the engine to operate properly, especially when the engine is cold.