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Despite December declines, year-end gas prices to be most expensive since 2014

gas pricesAfter sizable increases in gas prices in November, drivers in the Mid-Atlantic region have seen little change at the pump following record-breaking Thanksgiving holiday travel volume.

This week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a sizeable increase in East Coast gasoline stockpiles and a drop in demand, both contributing factors to stability at the pump.

Today’s national gas price average is $2.48, which is three cents lower than one week ago, four cents lower than one month ago and 30 cents higher than this time last year.

“Prices at the pump should slowly decline through the holiday season, as colder temperatures, the threat of inclement weather and online shopping take a bite out of the demand for gasoline,” said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “AAA expects to see gas prices trend lower through the end of the year, decreasing as much as 20 cents per gallon in some areas.”

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $58.36 per barrel, 59 cents lower than the previous week. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met Thursday and agreed to extend production cuts through all of 2018, with another meeting in June to review the agreement’s progress. Both the Saudis and Russians made statements emphasizing their commitment to further reducing oversupply, and the official OPEC statement hinted at talks of caps on Libyan and Nigerian production.

 

This December motorists will not find significant holiday savings at the gas pump. While AAA does expect gas prices to decline between now and the end of the year, motorists will still pay the highest December gas prices since 2014.  In addition, motorists can expect gas prices to continue to trend cheaper the first few months of 2018, with potential to see the national gas price average in the $2.25-$2.35 range by February.

 
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