VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., (June 16, 2015) – The temperature isn’t the only thing that’s been rising in Hampton Roads this week. Gas prices have climbed to $2.61, which is six cents higher than last week, 12 cents higher than last month, but still 94 cents lower than this time last year in Hampton Roads. Gas prices have been increasing since April 7th within the seven cities. The good news is that although prices have risen, motorists are still saving on the average price of gas at the pump.
Pump prices have climbed during the previous week, even though many market experts continue to believe that gas prices are nearing a seasonal high due to the completion of seasonal refinery maintenance and abundant crude oil supplies. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline moved higher each of the past six days reaching today’s average of $2.80 per gallon. Today’s average price represents a new 2015 high, and the national average is five cents more than one week ago and 10 cents more than one month ago. Gas prices unexpectedly have jumped in many areas over the previous week due to a decline in gasoline stocks caused by high fuel demand and persistent refinery problems, which has limited gasoline production. Despite the rise in pump prices, drivers continue to experience significant year-over-year savings with today’s average price about 86 cents per gallon less than the same date last year.
Even though regional refinery issues have driven the recent increase in the national average for retail gasoline, the cost of crude oil remains the underlying factor in the price motorists pay at the pump. Market analysts continue to suggest that ample crude oil supply will outpace global demand and characterize oil markets in the near term. Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading crude exporter, is reportedly prepared to increase its production to meet strong demand, which likely would keep a ceiling on the price of crude. Domestic production also remains elevated and is expected to remain at or near current levels, despite the reduction in U.S. oil rig counts.
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