The Week

Gas prices across the Mid-Atlantic region appear to be treading water as the consistent dip in prices seen for the past few weeks has begun to stall, ahead of the start to refinery maintenance season.  Today’s national average price of $2.29 is two cents more per gallon than one week ago, five cents less than a month ago, and an increase of 58 cents per gallon compared to this date last year. 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 
02/17/17
Week Ago
Year Ago
National
$2.29 $2.27
$1.71
New Jersey
$2.33
$2.33
$1.67
Trenton
$2.36
$2.35
$2.63
Cape May County
$2.29
$2.30
$1.59
Burlington
$2.25
$2.24
$1.55
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties
$2.35
$2.36
$1.63
Monmouth, Ocean Counties
$2.33
$2.34
$1.62
Crude Oil

$53.41 per barrel

$53.86 per barrel
$30.66 per barrel

At the closing of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settle at $53.41 per barrel. The Organization of the Exporting Petroleum Countries (OPEC) in January delivered record compliance of over 90 percent with its output curbs, according to estimates from the International Energy Agency and figures collected by OPEC's headquarters. Prices have remained relatively steady the past month as a result of the well-supplied crude oil market. Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released Wednesday revealed a sixth straight weekly rise in U.S. crude inventories, lifting the total to an all-time high of 518.1 million barrels.  WTI prices have traded in a tight range between roughly $50 and $54 a barrel since the start of the year.

The Weekend

“Across the Mid-Atlantic region, most areas have seen the drop in gas prices come to a halt,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “Refinery maintenance season will begin soon and the changeover to summer blend gasoline in the coming weeks will likely send prices higher.”

The Week Ahead

Oil prices took a turn higher earlier in the week, buoyed by a Reuters report that said OPEC could extend its production cut agreement by May with non-OPEC members, and may even apply deeper cuts if global inventories do not fall to a targeted level.  OPEC’s 90 percent compliance level by producers who had agreed to curtail their output is well above what many market participants were expecting.