The Week

Local pump prices reversed direction a bit this week as the price of crude hovers around $70 per barrel following news that U.S. crude production had reached 11 million barrels per day for the first time. In many areas across New Jersey, prices are down an average of two cents since last week, the opposite of what was seen the same time last week.

Today’s national gas price average is $2.85, which is down four cents in the last week, down three cents in the last month, yet 57 cents higher than this time last year.

                                      CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 

07/20/18

Week Ago

Year Ago

National

$2.85

$2.89

$2.28

New Jersey

$2.90

$2.91

$2.33

Trenton

$2.93

$2.94

$2.35

Cape May County

$2.93

$2.94

$2.31

Burlington

$2.83

$2.86

$2.28

Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties

$2.93

$2.95

$2.35

Monmouth, Ocean Counties

$2.93

$2.95

$2.35

Crude Oil

$70.46 per barrel (07/20/18)

$71.01 per barrel (07/13/18)

$47.50 per barrel (07/21/17)

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $70.46 per barrel. Oil prices bounced around during the week, based on the resurgence of U.S. production, as well as increasing production by Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia. Crude prices fell after official data showed an unexpected rise in U.S. crude stockpiles as U.S. output hit a record high and major oil exporters increased production. 

The Weekend

“Typically during July, gas prices have a tendency to trend cheaper, however, gas prices around the state are following a nationwide trend of instability, increasing one week, decreasing the next,” said Tracy E. Noble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Uncertainty at the pump will continue, as crude oil prices, supply, demand and a number of geopolitical factors play a game of cat and mouse.”  

The Week Ahead

The summer driving season has brought one certainty to gas pumps – uncertainty.  Gas prices have been on somewhat of a roller coaster ride, peaking over the Memorial Day weekend, and inching up and down ever since.  Crude oil has been a big factor in volatility at the pump, as prices fluctuate due to global supply, demand and production.  The national average for a gallon of unleaded gasoline is predicted to fall somewhere between $2.90 and $3.10 during the season, barring any unforeseen circumstances.  AAA expects the 2018 summer driving season to cost drivers $225 to $250 more than last summer.