Delaware drivers see cheapest gas prices in 3 years

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Delaware drivers are seeing the cheapest gas prices in three years, Wilmington-based AAA Mid-Atlantic reported.

Delaware rang in the New Year 32 cents lower than New Year’s Day 2018. A gas war of sorts seemed to be taking place in Coastal Sussex County, with pumps at a Safeway in the Lewes-Rehoboth area offering a $1.69 price for shopping cardholders.

Gas prices below $2 a gallon were common in the Newark and Elsmere areas in northern Delaware

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

1/4/19

Week Ago

Year Ago

National

$2.25

$2.29

$2.49

Pennsylvania

$2.49

$2.53

$2.76

Philadelphia
(5-county)

$2.53

$2.57

$2.76

South Jersey

$2.24

$2.27

$2.52

Delaware

$2.09

$2.13

$2.43

Crude Oil

$47.96
per barrel
(Fri. 1/4/19 close)

$45.33
per barrel
(Fri. 12/28/18 close)

$58.27
per barrel
(1/5/18)

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $47.96 per barrel, $2.66 higher than last Friday.

Oil prices have hovered between $45 and $48 this week, as market observers continue to believe that the global crude market is over-supplied. Moreover, new concerns are growing of a potential economic slowdown in 2019 that could lead to a decline in global demand for crude.

However, recent price gains in the market underscore how volatile the market is now, which could lead crude prices higher if global supply tightens amid robust demand for crude. For now, new reports indicate that the U.S., Russia and Iraq, the second largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), saw crude production and export increases in the final months of 2018, contributing to the falling price of crude.

“Analysts will be closely watching oil prices as OPEC production cuts take effect this week,” says Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Pump prices will likely remain cheap for at least the first half of the month but markets might show more volatility as the cartel’s production cuts continue into next month.”

In December of last year, OPEC and its partners made a deal to cut oil production for the first six months of 2019. The cut in production could very well raise the price of oil and therefore push gas prices higher.

OPEC plans to meet in April to review the deal’s progress before the six months are up. The end of 2018 drove crude oil prices to as low as $42 per barrel, a steep $34 drop from the high of $76 per barrel seen in the fall of 2018.

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

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