VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (July 20, 2015) – As summer begins to wind down, gas prices in Hampton Roads continue a slow decline. Currently, the average price for gas in the area is $2.61, which is four cents less than a week ago and 86 cents lower than a year ago.
On the national front, despite regional volatility, the average price for regular unleaded gasoline has remained relatively stable over the past 30 days. Today’s average price of $2.76 per gallon represents the lowest average for this date since 2010 and is down nearly a nickel per gallon compared to the 2015 peak price reached on June 15 ($2.80). National pump prices have slowly pulled back from this peak with averages down by one cent per gallon versus one week ago and four cents per gallon versus one month ago. The national average is 82 cents per gallon less than a year ago.
This week’s trading session opened to news of falling oil rig counts in the U.S. and reports that Saudi Arabian oil exports fell to a five-month low this past May. Historically, either of these factors could have led to higher prices. However, neither factor has notably shifted market fundamentals today, as the lower rig count has been countered by reports that that U.S. production remains high and lower Saudi Arabian oil exports have been attributed to higher gasoline production in that country, rather than a decrease in oil production.
Following the nuclear deal that was reached last week between Iran and China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany (the P5+1), the prospect for Iranian crude oil to return to the global market also remains top of mind for market watchers. Iran is home to the world’s fourth largest oil reserves and prior to sanctions was one of OPEC’s largest producers. Although the timeline for the possible return and at what quantity remains in question, downward pressure is expected to remain on global oil prices as a result of the news.
At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI tested the $50 per barrel mark and closed down two cents at $50.89 per barrel.
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