Gas stable, but higher crude prices, summer fuel blends should bring increases

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Gas prices remained stable in Delaware as a brief bout of summer-like weather hit the state. The price at the pump was up only a penny for the week in the first State.

Prices are likely to climb as ongoing tension in the Middle East offsets higher U.S. crude oil production and inventory, Wilmington-based AAA Mid-Atlantic reported. Another factor is the switch-over to more expensive summer blend fuel.

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CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)
4/15/2018 Week Ago Year Ago
National $2.71 $2.66 $2.41
Pennsylvania $2.92 $2.87 $2.64
Philadelphia (5-county) $2.91 $2.85 $2.63
Wilkes-Barre $2.92 $2.88 $2.65
Bloomsburg $2.94 $2.88 $2.64
South Jersey $2.68 $2.65 $2.37
Delaware $2.61 $2.60 $2.37
Crude Oil
$67.39per barrel
(Fri. 4/13/18 close)
$62.06per barrel
(Fri. 4/6/18close)
$54.66 per barrel

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $67.39 per barrel, up $5.33 from the previous week.

Although crude oil production and inventory rose this week, the possible impact on supply from Middle East tension continues to loom.

Also weighing on prices are shrinking global inventories of crude oil and the expectation of a supply cut extension from OPEC nations aimed at shrinking the glut of global crude oil supplies, AAA reported.

“After a week or so of relative stability, gas prices are creeping up nationally and in the Delaware Valley,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Warmer spring weather, coupled with the uncertain direction of oil prices and the switchover to (more expensive) summer-blend gasoline, will likely send pump prices higher as we approach Memorial Day.”

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that for the summer driving season (April to September) motorists will pay an average of $2.74 per gallon for regular gasoline, the highest average summer gasoline price in four years.

This estimated price is 26 cents per gallon higher than the average price last summer ($2.41 per gallon), largely reflecting changes in crude oil prices.

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

Prices were as low as $2.50 a gallon in the Capitol Trail area near Newark, thanks to the presence of independent stations.

Store gas-station chains Wawa and Royal Farms have been setting the pace for gas prices in many areas of the state, without as many independents. AAA does not comment on pricing by individual operators in its reports.

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