VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (December 29, 2014) – With the average gas price in Virginia being over a dollar less than last year, everyone can celebrate the coming New Year with a little more money in their pockets. Virginia’s average price for regular unleaded fuel is $2.20 which is a $1.02 lower than last year and 42 cents lower than last month. The average price for regular gas in the Hampton Roads area is currently $2.23, a $1.05 decrease from last year and 42 cents lower than last month. The Virginia average price has dropped for a consecutive 182 days, beginning the first day of July 2014.
The national average has fallen 95 days adding to a $1.06 drop, and prices have plummeted $1.38 (nearly 40 percent) since the start of June. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.29 per gallon, and motorists are saving 11 cents per gallon compared to one week ago, 49 cents compared to one month ago and $1.02 per gallon compared to this same date last year. AAA estimates that drivers are saving more than $500 million per day each day compared to the highs in both the spring and summer.
Consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. are experiencing weekly savings of a nickel or more per gallon. The price at the pump is down by a dime or more in 25 states. Over the past two-weeks, the average price at the pump has tumbled 15 cents or more in every state and Washington, D.C. Half of the states have seen retail gas prices drop by a quarter or more over this same period.
The global oil market remains in a state of perceived oversupply due to record production from the United States combined with lower than expected global demand. Despite falling crude prices, Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest exporter of petroleum, has reiterated the cartel’s intention to maintain current production levels and allow the market to self-correct. This move could put pressure on production with higher cost production areas, such as the United States, facing a market where low prices make production unprofitable. The ripple effects of prolonged low oil prices could also pose a challenge to countries whose economic stability is dependent on revenue from oil production. As has been the case in recent years in Egypt, Libya and Iran, this sort of geopolitical unrest can impact global supply and pressure oil prices higher on the threat of a disruption.
On Friday, at the close of formal trading, WTI closed down $1.11 per barrel at $54.73 per barrel on the NXMEX.