VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (July 31, 2017) – Gas prices in Virginia have continued to rise since last month. Today’s average price for gas in the Commonwealth is $2.09, which is an eight cent increase in a month and 16 cents higher than last year. In Hampton Roads the prices have increased by 13 cents since last month and are 23 cents more than last year with a current average of $2.10. The good news is that Virginia is still one of the ten states to have the least expensive gas across the nation.
Today’s national average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.32. The national average is at its highest price since June 15 and has now increased for 12 of the last 15 days. Pump prices in 47 states and Washington D.C. moved higher on the week, resulting from strong demand, rising exports and declining U.S. crude oil inventory levels.
“As summer moves forward, the days of dropping summer gas prices appear to be behind us for now,” said Georjeane Blumling, spokesperson for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “U.S. crude inventories are moving in the opposite direction of demand – a perfect storm for continued price increases heading into August.”
The price per barrel of crude continues to push higher, with West Texas Intermediate approaching the $50 line on Monday after increasing 67 cents to hit $49.71 on Friday. The rally comes amid news that OPEC and non-OPEC nations will meet in Abu Dhabi on August 7 & 8. Their discussion will focus on why some countries participating in the production cut agreement, which is in place until the end of March 2018, are failing to meet their agreed targets. Compliance has become a major issue for the agreement, as rising production from OPEC and non-OPEC member countries has prevented the agreement from having a larger impact on rebalancing the global market. Moreover, at a meeting last Monday, Saudi Arabia stated its plans to limit crude exports to 6.6 million barrels per day in August, about 1 million bpd below the level last year. Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates also agreed to cut exports, addressing rising fears in the market that growth in production and exports from member countries may be undercutting the cartel’s efforts to restrict supplies and raise prices in the global market.
EIA reported a 7.2 million barrel drop in U.S. crude inventories for the week ending on July 21 – a much higher number than expected. However, according to Baker Hughes, Inc.’s latest rig count, the U.S. added 2 oil rigs, bringing the record-high total to 766. All of the news has given investors mixed signals on where the market is heading, putting greater pressure on OPEC to enhance compliance and reduce exports. The needle may move in favor of higher crude prices this week, which will contribute to rising gas prices. If crude prices continue to push upward, drivers are likely to see it reflected at the pump.
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