Price at the pump drops as gas supplies remain abundant

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The price at the pump have been on a bit of a roller coaster dropped last week.

The average gasolne price in Delaware was down four cents a gallon, with many stations dropping the posted price by seven cents. Prices in the sate have fallen to as low as $2.17 in the Elsmere area. BJ’s Wholesale Club and independent stations have held down prices in the town west of Wilmington.

According to Wilmington-based AAA Mid-Atlantic, the usual spring spike in gasoline demand may not have taken hold.

Dometic roduction has increased, causing prices to dip.

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Still, motorists in the Mid-Atlantic region will likely see gas prices increase once demand grows stronger with the arrival of the summer driving season. Looking further ahead, there is

Looking further ahead, there are early indications that the start-up of the Dakota Access Pipeline could impact Northeast gas prices with the potential for crude prices to rise as a result of more potential buyers for crude oil.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

4/30/2017 Week Ago Year Ago
National $2.39 $2.42 $2.21
Pennsylvania $2.65 $2.67 $2.37
Philadelphia (5-county) $2.65 $2.66 $2.39
South Jersey $2.36 $2.38 $2.01
Wilkes-Barre $2.63 $2.66 $2.38
Delaware $2.33 $2.37 $2.17
Crude Oil

$49.33per barrel
(Fri.4/28/17close)

$49.62per barrel
(Fri.4/21/17close)

$48.95 per barrel

Still, the lower prices make $3 or even $2.75 a gallon gas prices around Memorial day less likely.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate Crude was down 29 cents on the week to settle at $49.33 per barrel.

Another reason for the drop in crude oil prices was skepticism about whether the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers would extend their pledge to cut output by 1.8 million barrels by another six months.

Also, crude prices fell more than one percent Thursday after the restarting of two key oilfields in Libya pumped cruder into the market.

In addition, steady increases in fuel efficiency are holding down consumption. The auto industry is just beginning to see a slowdown in sales after several years of strong gains.

“Drivers may encounter brief relief at the pump as a result of the increased output of gasoline refineries,” said Jana L. Tidwell, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “If this continues, gasoline production will occur at a much higher rate than there is an appetite for, as demand currently remains muted compared to last year.”

Also putting downward pressure on prices are continued doubts about whether ongoing production cuts led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are enough to eliminate the surplus of oil in global stockpiles.

OPEC will decide next month whether to extend the current production caps. Some analysts don’t believe oil prices will rise very much before the OPEC meeting, possibly giving motorists a break at the pump.

Also, non-member Russian, which went along wth the earlier production curbs, could opt out this time around. The oil producer has stepped up military spending.

To find out prices in your neighborhood, log on to (http://www.AAA.com/fuelfinder).

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