Many drivers across the Mid-Atlantic region who are still waiting for prices to return to their pre-Hurricane Harvey levels may have to be patient. New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware have all seen increases in pump prices this week and each state is at least 2 cents over last week’s price. The recent price increases can likely be attributed to tighter gasoline supply along the East Coast and possibly higher transportation costs.
Today’s national average is $2.47, which is a penny higher than this time last week, 10 cents lower than this time last month and 24 cents higher than this time last year.
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)
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Cape May County
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties
Monmouth, Ocean Counties
$53.96 per barrel (10/27/17)
$51.47 per barrel (10/20/17)
$49.72 per barrel (10/27/16)
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $53.96 per barrel. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that domestic crude supplies rose by 900,000 barrels for the week ended Oct. 20, halting a four week string of declines. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has said that it sees global oil supplies rebalancing in the third quarter of next year, while some others doubt that prediction in light of increased U.S. crude production. The production cuts put in place by OPEC last year have helped drain crude inventories in the U.S. and elsewhere in the developed world, but prices have remained stuck below the target of $60 a barrel.
“After weeks of declining prices at the pump, many local drivers are seeing prices stabilize and, in some areas, trend slightly upward,” said Tracy E. Noble, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Inventories in the Mid-Atlantic region have dropped and if supplies continue to tighten, gas prices have the potential to climb.”
The Week Ahead
OPEC is expected to debate extending its production cutting agreement through 2018 at its next official meeting on Nov. 30. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman backed the extension of OPEC output cuts beyond March 2018, saying in an interview with Bloomberg News in Riyadh that “of course” he wanted to extend OPEC’s production cuts into 2018. His comments follow Russian President Vladimir Putin saying Russia is open to extending the deal with OPEC to the end of next year.