The Week

As temperatures dropped throughout the region this week, so have prices at the pump.  Like the national gas price average, prices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware have dropped by two cents since last week. Drivers can expect pump prices to continue to drop heading into the holiday season as supply strengthens and gasoline demand weakens.

U.S. gasoline supplies have grown each week for the past five weeks and total stockpiles were up by 5.7 million bbl for the week ending Dec. 8, according to the EIA. Over this time span, total gasoline inventories have increased by approximately 17 million bbl.

Today’s national gas price average is $2.45which is a penny lower than one week ago, 11 cents lower than one month ago and 22 cents higher than this time last year.

                                      CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 

12/15/17

Week Ago

Year Ago

National

$2.45

$2.47

$2.23

New Jersey

$2.50

$2.52

$2.33

Trenton

$2.49

$2.52

$2.35

Cape May County

$2.48

$2.52

$2.30

Burlington

$2.40

$2.43

$2.27

Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties

$2.52

$2.54

$2.36

Monmouth, Ocean Counties

$2.50

$2.52

$2.33

Crude Oil

$57.31 per barrel (12/15/17)

$57.36 per barrel (12/08/17)

$50.90 per barrel (12/15/16)

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $57.31 per barrel, only five cents lower than the previous week. The International Energy Agency reported this week that total oil supply growth may outpace the increase in global demand in the coming year, with supply from the non-members of OPEC expected to rise. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts WTI crude oil prices will average $53 per barrel in 2018. 

The Weekend

“Nationally, gas prices are 10 cents cheaper on the month and will continue to drop as we count down the days to the holidays,” said Tracy E. Noble, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “AAA expects gasoline demand to weaken throughout the winter, which translates to better prices at the pump.” 

The Week Ahead

AAA forecasts 107.3 million Americans will take to planes, trains, automobiles and other modes of transportation during the year-end holiday period.  Despite paying the highest year-end gas prices since 2014, more than ninety percent of all travelers – 97.4 million – are planning a holiday road trip, an increase of three percent over last year.  This will be the highest year-end travel volume on record and a 3.1 percent increase in travel volume compared with last year. 2017 marks the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel.