VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, (August 1, 2014)- As we enter the dog days of summer, gas prices across the nation posted the largest July decline in six years with average prices dropping about 16 cents per gallon during the month. Even more unusual, gas prices fell 30 out of 31 days during the month, making it the first time on record that prices have fallen this consistently in July. Today's national average price of gas is $3.52 per gallon. In Virginia, the average for unleaded gas ends the month at $3.32, which is five cents lower than last week and 14 cents lower than last year. Hampton Roads finishes the month with regular gas at $3.40, about five cents lower than last week and 15 cents lower than last year.
Gas prices have declined primarily due to record-high refinery production and adequate supplies. Domestic refineries have processed the most crude oil on record during the previous four weeks (four-week average of 16.5 million barrels per day), according to data by the Energy Information Administration. This has led to very high utilization rates, particularly for refineries that have access to North American crude oil supplies. Strong refinery production generally results in higher gasoline supplies and lower fuel prices.
“Gas prices may cost less than in recent years this August as long as refinery production remains strong and oil costs do not rise due to unexpected issues,” said Georjeane Blumling, spokesperson for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “The biggest threat to continued falling prices would be a major hurricane striking the U.S. Gulf Coast. Prices also could rise or remain flat if refineries cut back on production or if there are any major refinery outages.”
The decline in gas prices has come despite significant conflicts overseas in places like Iraq, Libya, Gaza and Ukraine. While oil prices remain expensive, prices are relatively stable because oil production and export levels have not noticeably changed.
As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 325,000 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