How high will gas prices fly?

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The price at the pump jumped 13 cents last week in Delaware.

Wilmington-based AAA Mid-Atlantic reported the price at the pump in the First State is now running a coupleof cents ahead of the same period a year ago.

Higher crude prices, the final switchover to summer-blend gasoline and increased demand for gasoline have all contributed to recent increases and are expected to drive prices higher leading up to Memorial Day weekend.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

4/26/19

Week Ago

Year Ago

National

$2.88

$2.83

$2.79

Pennsylvania

$3.05

$2.98

$3.01

Philadelphia
(5-county)

$3.02

$2.93

$3.01

South Jersey

$2.86

$2.74

$2.83

Delaware

$2.76

$2.63

$2.74

Crude Oil

$63.30
per barrel
(Fri. 4/26/19 close)

$64.00
per barrel
(Thurs. 4/18/19 close)

$61.91
per barrel
(4/27/18)

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $63.30 per barrel, 70 cents lower than last Thursday’s close.

On Tuesday, WTI settled at $66.30, the highest 2019 settlement price and a benchmark last seen in October 2018.

The increase in crude prices followed a decision by the U.S. to end waivers for countries importing Iranian oil. The current waivers expire on May 2. Sanctions against Venezuela are also eating into global oil supply and could affect prices.

Meanwhile, OPEC is still holding to the production cuts it established back in 2016 but that deal may be revisited when it expires in June.

On a positive note, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Wednesday that U.S. crude supplies rose by 5.5 million barrels, keeping crude prices below $66.30 for the rest of this week.

“Drivers around the Delaware Valley are experiencing sticker shock at the pump – over the past month and perhaps for the month to come,” says Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “AAA expects that gas prices will continue to increase through the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the unofficial start of summer and typically the first big weekend road trip of the season. Yet, we do not expect more expensive gas prices to impact summer travel, as current pump prices are on par with this time last year when motorists hit the road in record numbers.”

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

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