Crude increased this week due to continuing Gulf Coast refinery issues and market optimism as COVID vaccines become more available
Since February 1, gas prices in New Jersey have increased more than 25 cents and are less than 20 cents away from the $3 mark. The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by 27 cents since the start of the month, increasing nine cents just this week. Gas prices locally and nationally have increased due to longer-than-expected refinery outages as a result of last week’s winter storm that impacted the Gulf Coast.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.69, up nine cents in the last week, up 29 cents in the last month, and up 22 cents from this time last year.
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CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)
|02/26/21||Week Ago||Year Ago|
|Cape May County||$2.85||$2.77||$2.52|
|Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties||$2.83||$2.76||$2.54|
|Monmouth, Ocean Counties||$2.83||$2.76||$2.53|
|Crude Oil||$61.50 per barrel (02/26/21)||$59.24 per barrel (02/19/21)||$47.09 per barrel (02/28/20)|
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $61.50 per barrel, $2.26 higher than last Friday’s close. At the close of Thursday’s formal trading session, WTI settled at $63.52 — the highest settlement price since May 2019. Crude prices have increased this week due to growing market optimism that as vaccines become more available, crude demand will recover. Prices continue to increase despite the Energy Information Administration’s new weekly report revealing that total domestic crude inventories increased by 1.3 million barrels last week, however, if market optimism continues to increase, crude prices will likely end the week higher.
“Tri-state area gas prices have increased by at least five cents this week,” said Tracy E. Noble, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Until Gulf Coast refineries restart and resume normal operations, most drivers should expect pump prices to continue increasing through the weekend.”