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Growing global crude supply outpaces demand, driving December pump prices down


Fri, Dec 7th 2018 03:00 pm
Additional: AAA members can now save at participating shell stations
By AAA of Western and Central New York
At $2.44, the national gas price average has set a new record low for 2018. This is nearly a nickel less than this time last December. AAA expects the national gas price average to fluctuate through the end of the month and possibly end the year as cheap as $2.40.
Globally, crude supply is growing faster than anticipated. Contributing to the surplus is the United States' record-breaking production levels - which hit the highest level ever recorded by the Energy Information Administration at 11.7 million b/d last month. In addition, there is more Iranian supply in the market than expected due to the U.S. granting crude sanction waivers to some of Iran's largest importers, including India, South Korea and Japan.
To help reduce the growing surplus of global crude supply, this week the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met to discuss the potential of cutting crude production by up to 1 million barrels per day. The announcement was expected yesterday, but the cartel delayed the decision until today to give time for non-OPEC countries, including Russia, to decide if they will join the production reduction agreement. Following the delay on Thursday, crude oil prices trended cheaper than earlier in the week, because the announcement was not as firm as the market expected.
AAA forecasts that, as long as crude stays below the $60/bbl mark, Americans will continue to see cheaper gas prices through the end of the year.
Depending on the part of the country, gas prices can fluctuate greatly. Some states are seeing large year-over year differences, while others have cheaper gas prices than a year ago.
Here is a snapshot of year-over-year differences for New York state and AAA Western and Central New York regions:
When Traveling, AAA Members Save at Shell
Announced this week, AAA members can now save up to 5 cents per gallon (on up to 20 gallons) through Dec. 31, 2019, when filling up at participating Shell-branded stations across the U.S. through the Fuel Rewards program. AAA members just need to register or log in at www.AAA.com/Shell to reap the benefits of this new program. As an added benefit, members registering for the first time in the Fuel Rewards program by Jan. 31 will save 25 cents per gallon (on up to 20 gallons) on their first fill-up.
Winter Fuel & Driving Tips
As people hit the road this winter, AAA offers these tips to help conserve fuel and keep motorists safe:
•If possible, only run the engine and heater long enough to remove the chill. This will help to conserve fuel. Also, parking a car in a garage will help it stay warm.
•As a precaution, keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times. It helps to reduce condensation in the fuel system. It also helps ensure an adequate reserve of fuel to run the engine for heat should a car become disabled in a remote location.
•Be sure to pack an emergency roadside kit in the car, containing a mobile phone and car charger, first-aid kit, blankets, drinking water and snacks, a flashlight with extra batteries, a basic toolkit, warning flares, an ice scraper, jumper cables and a shovel.
Motorists can find current gas prices at GasPrices.AAA.com and 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.
As upstate New York's largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 870,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

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