Low crude oil prices and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline prompts a reverse in prices

The Week

Prices across much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have remained relatively flat but continue a slow about-face, which is welcome news for drivers. Today’s national average is $2.18 per gallon the same as it was one week ago.  Overall, gas prices remain lower than last year due to the relatively low price of crude oil with drivers saving an average of 13 cents per gallon compared to a year ago.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 
09/16/19
Week Ago
Year Ago
National
$2.18 $2.18
$2.31
New Jersey
$1.97
$1.98
$2.06
Trenton
$2.02
$2.03
$2.11
Cape May County
$2.00
$2.01
$2.11
Burlington
$1.93
$1.94
$1.99
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties
$1.97
$1.98
$2.06
Monmouth, Ocean Counties
$1.97
$1.99
$2.08
Crude Oil

$43.24 per barrel (09/16/16)

$45.88 per barrel (09/09/16)
$47.15 per barrel (09/16/15)

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed at $43.24 per barrel on Friday. Traders will continue to keep an eye on discussions surrounding the upcoming OPEC meetings and the possibility of member and non-member countries agreeing to a production freeze.

The Weekend

“The national average price for unleaded gasoline is expected to move lower heading into fall barring any unexpected disruptions in supply or spikes in the price of crude oil,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Pump prices typically decline this time of year due to lower driving demand and the changeover, from summer-blend to a cheaper-to-produce winter-blend gasoline, which took place in many parts of the country this week.”

The Week Ahead

Pump prices are expected to trend lower as gas stations transition to winter-blend gasoline over the next few weeks. Winter-blend gasoline is easier and less expensive to produce, and refineries often pass their production savings on to consumers. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), drivers will continue to benefit from an oversupplied market and AAA predicts that consumers could experience national average prices below $2.00 at the pump if the price of crude oil remains relatively low and refineries are able to conduct planned seasonal maintenance without issue.

AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel: