Gas prices drop as Iranian tensions ease

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Following a week of uncertainty surrounding Middle Eastern tensions, Delaware reported the sharpest drop in the region in gas price, Wilmington-based AAA Mid-Atlantic reported.

  • Pennsylvaniagas average at $2.81 today, down a penny overnight and down a penny in the last week.
  • New Jersey gas average at$2.63 today, unchanged overnight and unchanged in the last week.
  • Delawaregas average at $2.38 today, down a penny overnight and down 5 cents in the last week.
  • Philadelphia (5-county) areagas average at $2.76 today, down a penny overnight and up a penny in the last week.
  • South Jerseygas average at $2.55 today, down a penny overnight and down 2 cents in the last week.
  • National gas average at $2.58 today, unchanged overnight and unchanged in the last week.

AAA Mid-Atlantic cautions drivers that further escalation of conflict in the region could lead to a fluctuation in crude oil, and therefore, gas prices.

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $59.04 per barrel, $4.01 lower than last Friday’s close and the week’s lowest closing price.

Crude oil prices have been on a rollercoaster over the past week, triggered by the U.S. drone strike last Friday which killed Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani.

Prices spiked again on Tuesday when over a dozen missiles were launched in retaliation for the drone strike. As the market continues to weigh the impact and risk of additional retaliatory actions that could lead tofurther escalation of tension in the region, WTI prices will likely continue to fluctuate, AAA noted.

“Typically, low demand amid rising gasoline stocks would put downward pressure on gas prices, but given the current friction between the U.S. and Iran, oil and gas prices are seeing fluctuation, though minimal,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Crude oil prices have decreased since the middle of the week and hopefully this downward movement will keep gas prices in check.”

While there is still an active situation at play in the Middle East, there is no immediate threat to crude supply domestically or globally that can support a sustained increase to crude oil prices or domestic wholesale gasoline prices.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new gasoline data that showed demand declined last week, a typical trend during the winter months. Additionally, EIA’s weekly report showed that total domestic gasoline stocks grew substantially.

To find out gas prices in your neighborhood, log on to AAA’sfuel price finder (http://www.AAA.com/fuelfinder).

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