VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. (February 16, 2016) – Hampton Roads has experienced a slight gas price increase for first time since 2016 began. The current gas price is $1.53 for the seven cities, which is a two cent increase from yesterday, but a two cent decrease from last week, a 15 cent drop from last month and 63 cents lower than last year. The good news is that gas prices in the Tidewater region continue to be the lowest since 2009. The national average has fallen for 42 out of 47 days this year for a total savings of 30 cents per gallon. Today’s average price of $1.70 represents a savings of three cents per gallon on the week, 20 cents per gallon on the month and 55 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year.
Typical for this time of year, refinery production is beginning to drop as many refineries prepare for seasonal maintenance in advance of the summer driving season. In addition, some refineries reportedly have cut production because of abundant supplies and low prices. Industry analysts expect this year’s spring maintenance season to peak in April, and pump prices are likely to rise in the coming months due to fluctuations in supply and demand associated with this process. However, unlike previous years, gasoline inventories are reportedly at higher-than-normal levels and the price of crude oil remains low. The combination of these two factors should help keep gas prices relatively low compared to recent years, though prices are likely to be a good deal higher by Memorial Day than they are today.
Despite the lower price environment, there has not yet been a major reduction in U.S. oil production. WTI fell to its lowest point in nearly 13 years last week, largely due to an abundance of domestic oil supplies. The latest data from the EIA indicated a drop in crude oil stocks for the first time this year, though inventories remain elevated and are likely to increase in the coming weeks. WTI rallied to end the week, and at the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, was up $3.23 to settle at $29.44 per barrel. The NYMEX was closed yesterday in observance of the President’s Day holiday.
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