The Week

As the winter storm approaches, motorists will save even more money on gas this weekend by just staying home.  With predictions of 12 to 24 inches of snow in the Mid-Atlantic region including New Jersey, drivers can expect, and are urged, to stay home through the weekend while emergency crews clear roads.

Tumbling crude oil prices around the world have helped send gas prices to multi-year lows.  The decreased demand for gasoline during this time of year is also helping to drive down prices.  The national retail average price for gas is $1.85 per gallon, down eight cents per gallon on the week, 15 cents for the month and 19 cents per gallon less than year ago prices.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 
1/22/16
Week Ago
Year Ago
National
$1.85 $1.93
$2.04
New Jersey
$1.72
$1.78
$1.95
Trenton
$1.78
$1.81
$2.05
Cape May County
$1.72
$1.77
$1.96
Burlington
$1.66
$1.72
$1.90
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties
$1.74
$1.79
$1.94
Monmouth, Ocean Counties
$1.72
$1.78
$1.96
Crude Oil

$32.19 per barrel

$33.16 per barrel
$56.01 per barrel

Since last Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has continued to settle below $30 per barrel with the commodity dropping to a 13-year low on Wednesday to $26.55.  The commodity closed higher Thursday at $29.53 per barrel.  The price of crude oil has dropped more than 70 percent compared to the June 2014 high ($107.26 per barrel).  Many analysts expect the oil market to begin to rebalance in 2016, but a number of questions remain. Specifically, a central focus will be the impact of Iranian oil returning to market, and if any changes in global oil demand will be significant enough to help offset some of the current glut in supply.

The Weekend

“The sharp decline in oil costs since the year began has the potential to lead to even lower gas prices if global oversupply and economic concerns continue,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Consumers should continue to benefit until the switchover to summer blend gasoline takes place.”

The Week Ahead

Oil production remains high even as prices dip. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports expectations of an additional 285 million barrels of oil by the end of 2016.