The price at the pump is likely to continue to rise in Delaware.
Wilmington-based AAA Mid-Atlantic reported an increase in crude oil prices and a decline in gasoline inventories along the Esat Coast.
Late summer and early fall typically see decreased demand that helps keep down prices.
Despite the increases, local drivers are still paying at least 30 cents a gallon less than one year ago.
As of Monday:
- Pennsylvania gas average at $2.71 today, unchanged overnight and up a penny in the last week.
- New Jersey gas average at $2.55 today, unchanged overnight and down a penny in the last week.
- Delaware gas average at $2.38 today, up a penny overnight and up 9 cents in the last week.
- Maryland gas average at $2.44 today, unchanged overnight and up 2 cents in the last week.
- Philadelphia (5-county) area gas average at $2.71 today, unchanged overnight and down a penny in the last week.
- S. Jersey gas average at $2.47 today, unchanged overnight and up a penny in the last week.
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $54.85 per barrel, $1.67 lower than last Friday’s close. That was before attacks on Saudi oil sites that led to higher prices on Monday. WTI crude rose $6 a barrel today.
Crude prices were on the rise earlier in the week, as investors reacted to the prospect of continued OPEC production cuts. Prices bounced around a bit Wednesday following the firing of John Bolton, the U.S. National Security Advisor and later fell as doubts began to surface of a U.S. – China trade deal.
“Gasoline demand in early September generally declines as refineries prepare for the switchover to winter-blend gasoline and undergo maintenance,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Current higher crude prices and decreasing gasoline stocks along the East Coast may temporarily interrupt this seasonal price decline.”
Refineries are in the midst of switching over from summer-blend gasoline to winter-blend gasoline, which is less expensive to produce, with the savings passed along to motorists this time of year.
The federally mandated switchover date for gasoline retailers is September 15. In its Short Term Energy Outlook released this week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts WTI crude oil will average $55 per barrel in the fourth quarter of 2019 and average $57 per barrel in 2020. The agency also noted a national gas price average of $2.56 per gallon in the fourth quarter of 2019, down from $2.62 per gallon as previously forecasted.
To check out gas prices in your neighborhood, log on to AAA’s Fuel Price Finder (http://www.AAA.com/fuelfinder).