The Week

Today’s average price of $2.05 per gallon is within pennies of the multi-year low reached this January, and the national average remains poised to fall below the $2 per gallon benchmark by Christmas. Gas prices are unchanged compared to last week, 15 cents over the last month and 68 cents compared to a year ago.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 
12/04/15
Week Ago
Year Ago
National
$2.05 $2.05
$2.73
New Jersey
$1.97
$1.96
$2.67
Trenton
$2.00
$1.99
$2.72
Cape May County
$1.96
$1.94
$2.68
Burlington
$1.92
$1.91
$2.63
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties
$1.97 $1.97 $2.65
Monmouth, Ocean Counties
$1.98
$1.96
$2.68
Crude Oil

$40.10 per barrel

$41.74 per barrel
$68.19 per barrel

The national average has dropped largely due to the resolution of unplanned and planned refinery maintenance. Demand for gasoline typically declines during the winter months and the gasoline market may become even more oversupplied in the near term, which should keep gas prices relatively low. Barring any unanticipated disruptions in supply, or swings in the price of crude oil, retail averages are expected to continue to fall leading into 2016. 

This past week WTI dropped below $40 per barrel on Wednesday for the first time since late August after the Energy Department reported that U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.2 million barrels in the prior week.  WTI closed Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX at $40.10 per barrel. Oversupply and a strengthening U.S. dollar continue to impact global oil markets, keeping downward pressure on the price of crude oil. Geopolitical tensions between Russia and Turkey have yet to lead to any sustained increases in prices, and early reports indicate that tensions between the two countries will have little impact on production in the Middle East.

The Weekend

“Motorists continue to experience significant monthly savings in the price at the pump, largely due to the completion of seasonal refinery maintenance,” said Tracy E. Noble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Consumers nationwide continue to experience significant yearly savings in the price of retail gasoline, thanks to the relatively low price of crude oil.”

The Week Ahead

In its weekly report, the Energy Information Administration cites that both crude oil and gasoline inventories have increased. A divided OPEC during Friday’s meeting in Vienna failed to reach a decision on future oil production, leaving output unchanged from current levels. With the glut of oil now staying consistent, products like gasoline will likely remain at its cheapest price in years heading into the holidays.