AAA: Gas prices inching upward

Mid-Atlantic gas prices began inching upward this week after stalling the week prior.

gas pricesLike the national price for a gallon of regular gasoline, local prices are reacting to rising crude oil prices and increased seasonal demand.  At $2.28, the national gas price average is three cents higher than a week ago, the same price as a month ago and 11 cents more than a year ago. Pump prices could continue to increase into late August, until the switchover to winter-blend gasoline begins.

“Motorists have enjoyed unusually low gas prices so far this summer, with prices cheaper than at the beginning of the year, but that is about to change,” said Tammy Arnette, Senior Pubic Affairs Specialist for Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “As demand increases between now and Labor Day, we anticipate prices at the pump will spike at least ten cents per gallon.”

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, WTI crude oil decreased 77 cents on the week to settle at $45.77. Oil’s slight gains during the week could be a sign that the oil surplus is draining, albeit rather slowly. This news seems to have given the market some hope for a decline in the glut of crude that has been suppressing prices this summer. Although the supply of crude has decreased slightly, crude oil stockpiles both around the world and in the U.S. are still high, eating into the effectiveness of the oil production cuts established by OPEC last year.

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