Throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, gas prices can't seem to make up their mind. Some areas are down on the week, while others are up or flat. In New Jersey some regions are experiencing a drop of 5 cents compared to last week. Crude oil prices declined through the first half of the week which could be contributing to the drop in prices, while gasoline inventories in the area are on the rise as refinery rates increase.
Today's national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.34 per gallon, which is down two cents on the week, eight cents more than one month ago, and 20 cents more than last year.
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)
|Cape May County||$2.36||$2.41||$1.92|
|Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties||$2.41||$2.44||$1.92|
|Monmouth, Ocean Counties||$2.40||$2.44||$1.91|
$48.62 per barrel (08/18/17)
|$48.82 per barrel (08/11/17)||
$48.22 per barrel (08/18/16)
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, WTI crude oil settled at $48.62. Domestic crude supplies fell by 8.9 million barrels for the week ending August 11, reinforcing the attempts to rebalance the global oil market. However, high oil production numbers, taking U.S. crude output to its highest in more than two years, have diminished the effect of the drop. At a meeting in Abu Dhabi last week with OPEC and non-OPEC producers – all members of a pact that has agreed to cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day until March 2018 – the group decided to take action, including curtailing exports, to comply more fully with the agreement. If those measures meet full success, it will likely lead to higher prices at the pump.
"Last-minute summer road-trippers are getting a break at the pump in many areas in the Mid-Atlantic," said Tracy E. Noble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. "Gas prices could continue to ride the roller coaster or hold steady as U.S. crude inventories head down and gasoline inventories head up."
The Week Ahead
As the first cross-country solar eclipse since the advent of the automobile takes place Monday, areas along the eclipse's path of totality fear running out of gasoline as a result of the influx of tourists. Some states are coping with heavy traffic delays and long lines at some stations because others have gone dry. Many gasoline retailers are working to schedule extra deliveries to keep up with demand. That same demand is causing gas prices to increase in and around the path of totality.