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Gas prices continue to make up for lost time

Tighter supplies, rising exports and growing demand have put pressure on gas prices, leading to increases across the Mid- Atlantic region.

gas pricesThe price increase, typically seen toward the beginning of the summer driving season, has now shown itself in full force around Virginia with prices up between  three and nine cents over last week.

“As summer moves forward, the days of dropping summer gas prices appear to be behind us for now,” said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist  for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “U.S. crude inventories are moving in the opposite direction of demand – a perfect storm for continued price increases through August.”

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, WTI crude oil decreased 13 cents on the week to settle at $49.58 and has closed above $49 every day this week. U.S. crude oil prices have risen 16 percent from their ten-month low ($42.75) on June 21, 2017.

Growth in U.S. oil production is slowing, but will continue to stall the Organization of Producing Exporting Countries (OPEC) efforts to cut supply and regulate global inventories. Doubts over OPEC’s commitment to follow the agreement reached last year to curb production have caused some OPEC member countries to call for stricter production cuts in an attempt to re-balance the market.

Most analysts see oil prices remaining “range bound” for the foreseeable future, stuck between roughly $45 and $55.

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