Delaware gas prices remain steady as OPEC production cuts take hold

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PBF crude oil unloading site near Delaware City.
PBF crude oil unloading site near Delaware City.

Gas prices across the Mid-Atlantic region held steady as the drop in prices seen for the past few weeks has begun to stall, ahead of the start to refinery maintenance season, Wilmington-based AAA Mid-Atlantic reported.

Delawaresaw itsaverage price rise to $2.22 a gallon during the past week, a gain of four cents. The average price in Delaware was only four cents higher than New Jersey, a state that does not offer does not offer self-service gas and in November imposed a 23-cent a gallon tax hike.

Stations in some areas in Delaware dropped the price at the pump by a couple of cents over the weekend. Putting pressure on prices in a few areas was BJ’s Wholesale Club GasBuddy.com reported prices of $2.05 a gallon at its Elsmere store and $2.09 at its New Castle location.

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At the closing of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was down 46 cents to settle at $53.40 per barrel.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

2/19/2017 Week Ago Year Ago
National $2.28 $2.28 $1.72
Pennsylvania $2.54 $2.53 $1.91
Philadelphia (5-county) $2.52 $2.53 $1.94
South Jersey $2.26 $2.25 $1.53
Wilkes-Barre $2.55 $2.55 $1.90
Delaware $2.22 $2.18 $1.66
Crude Oil

$53.40per barrel
(Fri.2/17/17close)

$53.86per barrel
(Fri.2/10/17close)

$39.81 per barrel

The Organization of the Exporting Petroleum Countries (OPEC) in January delivered record compliance of over 90 percent with its output curbs, according to estimates from the International Energy Agency and figures collected by OPEC’s headquarters. Saudi Arabia is said to be preparing to sell a stake in its national oil company and wants higher prices to attract investors.

Domestic gas prices have remained relatively steady the past month as a result of stepped up production and exploration in the U.S. More oil rigs have moved into Texas as prices stayed around $50 a barrel. It has also been rumored that producers have been able to increase production to cut costs for high-cost oil from North Dakota and other areas

Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released Wednesday revealed a sixth straight weekly rise in U.S. crude inventories, lifting the total to an all-time high of 518.1 million barrels. WTI prices have traded in a tight range between roughly $50 and $54 a barrel since the start of the year.

“Across the Mid-Atlantic region, most areas have seen the drop in gas prices come to a halt,” said Jana L. Tidwell, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Refinery maintenance season will begin soon and the changeover to summer blend gasoline in the coming weeks will likely send prices higher.”

Oil prices took a turn higher earlier in the week, buoyed bya Reuters reportthat said OPEC could extend its production cut agreement by May with non-OPEC members, and may even apply deeper cuts if global inventories do not fall to a targeted level. OPEC’s 90 percent compliance level by producers who had agreed to curtail their output is well above what many market participants were expecting.

OPEC’s 90 percent compliance level by producers who had agreed to curtail their output is well above what many market participants were expecting.

Information on local prices is available at AAA’s Fuel Price Finder(http://www.AAA.com/fuelfinder).

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