Growing demand, refinery work keep gas prices around $2 a gallon

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gas price latestGrowing demand is one reason for gasoline prices hovering around the $2 a gallon mark in Delaware, Wilmington-based AAA Mid-Atlantic reported.

States in the AAA Mid-Atlantic territory are seeing prices on both sides of the $2 mark – $2.19 in Pennsylvania, $1.85 in New Jersey and $1.96 in Delaware.

The national average price of $2.06 per gallon is up two cents per gallon on the week and 26 cents per gallon for the month. Despite the recent increase, average gas prices remain 34 cents per gallon less than a year ago.

In Delaware the lowest gas prices were available at wholesale clubs, with Sam’s in Dover, coming in at $1.83 a gallon and two BJ’s stores in New Castle County posting a $1.85 a gallon prices.

Price leader  Wawa posted prices around $1.92 a gallon in New Castle County and about  $2 in coastal Sussex County.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate crude was down $2.67 from last week Thursday’s close (markets were closed for Good Friday) to settle at $36.79 per barrel.

Crude oil prices are likely to continue to remain volatile in the near-term due to persistent skepticism regarding the prospects for reductions or freezes in production by OPEC members.

 “Americans have saved nearly $10 billion on gas during the first three months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Gas prices are expected to remain relatively low compared to recent years, though average prices could rise another 15 to 25 cents per gallon by Memorial Day.”

Demand has increased this spring as the weather has turned warmer, and this increase comes at the same time that many refineries conduct maintenance to prepare for the summer driving season.

Refineries conducting maintenance produce less fuel, which can lead to higher prices.  The EPA mandates gas stations in some parts of the country sell summer-blend gasoline from June 1-September 15 for air-quality purposes.

Local gas price information is available from the AAA’s Fuel Price Finder (AAA.com/fuelfinder

AAA Mid-Atlantic is based in Wilmington and serves nearly 140,000 Delaware members and nearly four million members in New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia, with personal insurance, financial, automotive and travel services through more than 60 retail branches, Car Care Insurance Travel Centers, regional operations centers.

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