Gas price down slightly as market remains volatile


Delaware motorists are still waiting for a spike in gas prices.

Two storms and a lack of disruptions in supply delayed the inevitable process of refinery turnarounds and conversions to summer fuel have not yet driven up the price at the pump.

The average gas price in Delaware is down about three cents a gallon from a week ago and only a few cents higher than the price a year ago at this time. That’s according to Wilmington-based AAA Mid-Atlantic.

“This year, fluctuating crude oil prices, strong gasoline demand and new U.S. oil production records have created a volatile gas price market from month to month for consumers,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Typically, March brings more expensive pricing as days get longer, weather gets warmer and refineries gear up to switchover to pricier summer blends.”


Also, a factor is growing domestic oil production and exports of petroleum products.

AAA Mid-Atlantic reported that an analysis released by the Energy Information Administration revealed that U.S. crude oil exports grew sharply by 89 percent last year to total 1.1 million barrels a day.

The increase of 527,000 barrels a day over 2016 exports is the largest single year-on-year increase of a petroleum export product since 1920.

The number of countries importing crude from the U.S. increased to 37 – ten more than 2016 – with Canada leading the pack and China just behind.

In 2015, the Obama administration and Congresslifted a more than 40-year ban on oil exports.

Increased domestic crude production, expansion of U.S. pipeline capacity and new investment in export infrastructure helped to fuel growth in U.S. crude exports in the second full year without the export restriction.

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