Gas prices remain steady despite surge in demand

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Delaware gas prices dropped by a penny this week, Wilmington-based AAA Mid Atlantic reported.

Despite the increase in demand, high levels of gasoline stocks kept average pump prices in check for now.

Friday’s national gas price average is $2.26, which is down a penny in the last week, unchanged in the last month, and is 34 cents less than this time last year.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)
Area
2/1/19
Week Ago
Year Ago
National
$2.26
$2.27
$2.60
Pennsylvania
$2.47
$2.50
$2.88
Philadelphia
(5-county)
$2.49
$2.51
$2.86
South Jersey
$2.24
$2.26
$2.68
Delaware
$2.15
$2.16
$2.52
Crude Oil
$55.26
per barrel
(Fri. 2/1/19 close)
$53.69
per barrel
(Fri. 1/25/19 close)
$59.28
per barrel
(2/2/18)

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $55.26 per barrel, $1.57 higher than last Friday.

Crude prices bounced around a bit this week, settling at $51.99 on Monday, and gaining $2.24 in 48 hours to settle at $54.23 on Wednesday. U.S. crude oil prices surged this month to post its best January performance on record, breaking a three-month losing streak that saw futures lose nearly half their value. Prices held their own despite recent weak economic data from China and concerns about slowing global growth and a decrease in demand for fuel.

“The return of the polar vortex and sub-zero temperatures across much of the country has stifled demand, causing gas prices to drop slightly this week,” says Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Despite rising oil prices, a surplus of retail gasoline supplies combined with high demand has caused local and national gas price averages to fluctuate this week and likely into next week.”

In its latest weekly report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed that demand for gasoline is approximately 700,000 barrels per day more than the previous week’s estimate and higher than the estimate during the same time last year. This rate would be considered average during the busy driving season in the summer, but not typical during winter, which is a typically low demand season. One reason for the jump could be the weather caused motorists to fill-up ahead of the storms.

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