Gas prices shoot up in Delaware with Wawa and Royal Farms leading the charge

Coffee, hoagies and fried chicken lure motorists

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Gas prices shot up last week as the normal-run up begins before summer driving season.

Delaware prices increased by 17 cents over the past week as price leaders Wawa and Royal Farms led the way. Prices rose by six cents over the weekend.

 South Jersey’s gas prices nearly match DE’s figure

By contrast, southern New Jersey’s gas prices came close to matching those in Delaware,  even though the gas tax is nearly 20 cents higher than in  First State.

Royal Farms and Wawa have a growing chunk of the gasoline in Delaware. The two privately held companies snap up key street corners as independents with fewer pumps and environmental issues from storage tanks gradually disappear. 

  Both chains stuck with an aggressive pricing stance last week with  $2.60 a gallon prices throughout the state. Motorists are lured to the stations, with offerings such as fresh coffee, hoagies and in the case of Royal Farms, fried chicken.

 State
Sunday
Saturday
Friday
Pennsylvania
$2.79
$2.79
$2.78
New Jersey
$2.63
$2.62
$2.61
Delaware
$2.56
$2.51
$2.50
Maryland
$2.64
$2.62
$2.61
Philadelphia (5-county)
$2.78
$2.77
$2.76
South Jersey
$2.57
$2.56
$2.55
Bloomsburg
$2.85
$2.85
$2.81
Wilkes-Barre
$2.84
$2.84
$2.81
National
$2.61
$2.69
$2.59

(Figures from AAA)

By contrast, areas with independent stations in northern Delaware were seeing prices that were more than a dime below areas dominated by the two convenience store chains or retailers affiliated with “big oil” giants like Shell or ExxonMobil.

Price increases will continue

Prices will creep upward in coming weeks at all stations as new supplies of gasoline are received. 

A trifecta of lower gasoline stockpiles, higher oil prices, and refinery maintenance season are sending local prices higher following a long stretch of dropping prices, Wilmington-based AAA Mid-Atlantic reported. 

The auto club has been predicting a surge in gasoline prices for the past several weeks. AAA  does not comment on prices from individual companies.

Royal Farms declined to comment on the pricing and Wawa did not immediately respond to a comment request. 

 

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil shot up to  $65.88 per barrel, up $3.37 from the previous week and $3.82 higher than Monday’s close.

Crude oil price surges

This week’s Energy Information Administration supply report showed a surprising draw in crude oil inventories which stopped a three week stretch of gains.

The increase is partly the result of rising tensions in the Middle East and worries about Venezuela’s production decline.

“Continued strong demand for gasoline, rising crude oil prices and declining gasoline inventories have pushed local gas prices anywhere between four and 13 cents higher this week,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “This increase is not a chance occurrence – motorists seeing higher prices at the pump this week should expect those prices to inch even higher as we head into April.”

No signs higher prices will affect summer road trips

AAA expects gas prices, already 25 cents higher than last year at this time, to increase by double digits ahead of the busy summer driving season.

Still, a  new AAA survey reveals an estimated 88 million Americans will take a family trip this year.  

 Road trips remain the most popular option for family vacations, with nearly two-thirds of those planning a trip expected to go by car.

To check out gas prices in your neighborhood,  use AAA’s Fuel Price Finder (http://www.AAA.com/fuelfinder).

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