Gas, oil glut keep gas prices trending lower
Gas prices in the Mid-Atlantic region followed the national average down this week, with increased U.S. crude oil production coupled with lower driving demand has kept downward pressure on fuel prices.
“The slow and steady gas price decline continues across the Mid-Atlantic region,” said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Drivers are benefitting from lower seasonal demand, along with steady oil prices and growth in U.S. oil production.”
In recent weeks the region has experienced higher than normal rainfall levels, a contributing factor to keeping drivers off the road in some of the most densely populated areas along the East Coast. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.27 per gallon, down a penny versus one week ago, nine cents less than one month ago, but 51 cents more per gallon year-over-year.
At the closing of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 66 cents to settle at $53.83 per barrel. Increased U.S. oil production continues to offset OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the global oil market. According to Energy Information Administration reports, crude inventories increased by 6.5 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 27, and gasoline inventories rose by 3.9 million barrels last week and are at above-average levels.
Market watchers will keep a close eye on U.S. oil production and the impact it has on supply and demand. Prices at the pump are expected to remain relatively stable to round out the winter. However, as spring approaches and more expensive summer blended gasoline enters the market, industry analysts expect gas prices will likely rise to $2.50 to $2.80 per gallon this spring.
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