At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up $3.37 and settled at $43.73 per barrel. U.S. domestic production fell to a level unseen since September 2014, and speculation is beginning to surface whether U.S. production may soon decline more significantly, and what if anything this may mean for the global oil market’s current oversupply. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports crude oil inventories are 10.1 percent above last year (at 538.6 million barrels) and are well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.
“The relatively lower price for gasoline is reportedly prompting more drivers to take to the roads,” said Martha Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “This increase in driving may put pressure on local gasoline markets and cause prices to move higher if demand outpaces the available supply of gasoline. However, even with slight increases, gas prices are not expected to reach the National 2015 summer peak price of $2.62 per gallon.”
Consumers remain poised to benefit from substantial comparative savings as we enter the busy summer driving season, and it is likely that most drivers will pay the cheapest summertime prices in 12 years. Analysts believe that while pump prices will hover above the $2 per gallon mark, they will remain well below the 2015 summer peak price of $2.62 per gallon.