The Week
Gas prices increased this week across the Mid-Atlantic region because of a leak in the Colonial Pipeline, which caused supply disruptions. Repairs to the leaking pipeline were completed and the pipeline reopened Wednesday evening. The company has estimated that 252,000 to 336,000 gallons of gasoline leaked from the line and it will take several days for fuel supplies to return to normal in markets served by the pipeline. The national average for regular unleaded gasoline today is $2.21, 3 cents higher than one week ago, 3 cents higher than a month ago and just 7 cents lower than this same date last year.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 
09/23/16
Week Ago
Year Ago
National
$2.21 $2.18
$2.28
New Jersey
$2.00
$1.97
$2.00
Trenton
$2.03
$2.02
$2.05
Cape May County
$2.00
$2.00
$2.04
Burlington
$1.95
$1.93
$1.93
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties
$2.00
$1.97
$2.01
Monmouth, Ocean Counties
$2.01
$1.97
$2.02
Crude Oil

$44.73 per barrel (09/23/16

$43.03 per barrel (09/16/15)
$44.48 per barrel (09/23/15)

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed at $44.73 per barrel. Wednesday’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) report on the status of petroleum inventories in the United States shows that crude oil inventories decreased by 6.2 million barrels to a total of 504.6 million barrels, yet remain 50.6 million barrels above last year (11.2%) and are well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

The Weekend

“Many parts of the Mid-Atlantic region continue to feel the effects of the Colonial Pipeline leak, as gas prices in some areas have jumped double-digits per gallon in the past week alone,” said Tracy E. Noble Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “As the pipeline’s gasoline flow returns to normal capacity, pump prices in the region should drop.”

The Week Ahead

Traders will continue to keep an eye on the Colonial Pipeline repairs and the OPEC member meeting later this month. Pump prices are expected to trend lower in the following weeks and months as gas stations have transitioned to winter-blend gasoline and the demand for gasoline drops.  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.