VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. (October 24, 2016) – Hampton Roads is experiencing a drop in gas prices since Hurricane Matthew. Parts of the Southeast are still recovering from the significantly dropped demand for gas in the region after the hurricane. With a variety of issues on the Gulf Coast, gas prices had increased earlier in the month. However, prices have started to decrease with today’s average for gas being $2.07 per gallon in Virginia, two cents less than last week, but still 13 cents higher than last year.
The average price at the pump has fallen for 15 of the last 16 days, for a total savings of 4 cents per gallon. The national average currently sits at $2.22 per gallon, which is two cents less than one week ago, one cent more than one month ago and 1 cent more year-over-year. The National average is down 17 cents per gallon versus the 2016 peak price reached in June ($2.39).
This year’s seasonal refinery maintenance continues across the United States and select regional markets are still under pressure as a result of planned and unplanned maintenance. The West Coast is enduring the fall turnaround season but is still feeling the impacts of shutdowns at the PBF’s Torrance, California refinery. Similar pressure is still being felt on the East Coast with rumors of refinery outages in the Philadelphia area. Although gasoline demand typically retreats during the fall due to lower driving demand and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline, continued unplanned outages could create volatility and put pressure on the national average in the near term.
The market reacted early Monday morning to claims from Iraq that they would not participate in a potential OPEC production cut agreement. The Iraqi State Oil Monitor suggested that Iraq could not afford to lose any further market share than it already has and would not benefit from taking part in a production freeze. This development follows last week’s news that Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is planning several meetings with OPEC countries to discuss proposals to freeze oil output amid weak prices in the market. OPEC countries are scheduled to formally meet again on November 30. Traders will continue to monitor the announcement of manufacturing agreement details, but there remains continued uncertainty as to whether OPEC can meet the production targets and rebalance the market. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 22 cents to settle at $50.58 per barrel.
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.
As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 330,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or on Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia