Gas prices dropped slightly last week as demand reached its lowest level since mid-February and gasoline stocks increased, Wilmington-based AAA Mid-Atlantic reported.
- Delawaregas average at $2.31 today, unchanged overnight and down 3 cents in the last week.
- Pennsylvaniagas average at $2.75 today, unchanged overnight and down a penny in the last week.
- Maryland gas average at $2.44 today, unchanged overnight and down 2 cents in the last week.
- Philadelphia (5-county) areagas average at $2.70 today, unchanged overnight and down a penny in the last week.
Crude oil prices continue to hover near the $60 mark. That could cause some volatility at the pump in the coming weeks.
The Newark-Christiana-Bear area in northern Delaware saw more gas pumps enter the picture with the opening of a new Wawa on Route 72, south of Route 40. Costco entered the fray with a members-only price of $2.10 a gallon at its new fueling stop near Christiana Mall.
At the close of NYMEX trading last week, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $60.07 per barrel, 87 cents higher than last Friday’s close. Crude oil traded higher Thursday following talk of the U.S. and China closing in on a trade deal. Negotiations between the two countries resulted in a phase-one trade deal announced by both countries on Friday.
A deal would ease worries of a global economic slowdown, leading to lower demand for energy. Oil prices bounced around a bit this week following a December 6 meeting between OPEC and its allies, where the group agreed to cut oil production by an additional 500,000 barrels per day.
“Since the end of October, gasoline demand decreases and gasoline stockincreases have paved the way for cheaper gas prices,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Barring any significant jump in crude oil prices, AAA expects stocks to continue to grow and drive gas prices even cheaper through year-end.”
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects crude oil prices will be lower on average in 2020 (WTI averaging $55.50/barrel) than in 2019 because of forecast rising global oil inventories, particularly in the first half of next year. EIA assumes that OPEC will limit production through all of 2020, amid a forecast of rising oil inventories.
To check out gas prices in your neighborhood, log on to AAA’s Fuel Price Finder(http://www.AAA.com/fuelfinder).