Gas prices have steadily increased throughout New England and the rest of the country. Refineries started the switch to the more expensive summer blend designed to cut down on tailpipe emissions during driving season. Nationally the average price at the pump is 2.69, up 16 cents from a month ago and up 29 cents from a year ago.
“The price is likely to increase as spring brings warmer weather and the switchover to summer blend gasoline, but hopefully we will only see mild jumps in coming weeks,” said Dan Goodman, manager of public affairs for AAA Northern New England.
- Vermont’s average current price is $2.68 per gallon, which is 3 cents higher than one week ago, and 29 cents higher than one year ago.
- New Hampshire’s average current price is $2.59 per gallon, which is 2 cents higher than one week ago and 31 cents higher than one year ago.
- Maine’s current price is $2.69 per gallon, which is 2 cents higher than one week ago and 32 cents higher than one year ago.
Oil market dynamics
Gas prices have edged higher this week following the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest weekly report that showed gasoline inventories dropped by 1.1 million bbl. Additionally, demand for gasoline remains robust at 9.2 million b/d and is more in line with demand levels at the same time in 2017.
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased $1.48 to settle at $62.06. Oil prices slid backward amid fears of a trade war between the U.S. and China, as both countries issued trade threats to increase tariffs on key goods produced in each country. If the threats continue this week, the price of WTI will likely take a further hit alongside the equities market in the U.S.
This news follows EIA reporting that crude exports hit a record high of 15.2 million bbl for the week ending on March 30. The last record high occurred in October 2017. Another record high for domestic crude production of 10.5 million b/d last week contributed to the U.S. shipping more oil to other countries.
Additionally, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. gained 11 active oil rigs last week, raising the total number to 808. Increased U.S. crude output will likely put renewed focus on global crude supplies, as OPEC’s production reduction agreement with non-OPEC producers, including Russia, remains in effect. In fact, last week Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Moscow is considering cooperating with OPEC to curb global oil supplies indefinitely after the agreement expires at the end of the year. Since the agreement has been in place, OPEC and its partners have worked to reduce their combined output by 1.8 million b/d.
Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.