Gasoline Prices Climb as Spring Draws Near

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. (March 19, 2018) – Virginia’s price at the pump continues to rise as spring officially kicks off tomorrow, March 20th. Currently, the price for regular gas per gallon is $2.36, which is three cents more than last week and 27 cents higher than last year. In Hampton Roads, the prices closely reflect the state average with today’s price at $2.35, an eight cent increase from last week and 33 cents more than last year. Consumer gasoline demand is at the highest level on record for March. According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report, demand measured at 9.6 million b/d – levels typical of summer months, not the first quarter of a year. U.S. exports continue to trend high, accounting for a large chunk of this week’s demand data.

 “As demand strengthened, gasoline inventories declined, pushing the national gas price average two cents more expensive on the week to $2.55,” said Georjeane Blumling, AAA spokesperson. “As a result, the majority of motorists are seeing more expensive gas prices at the start of this work week.”

 Today’s national gas price average of $2.55 is two cents more than a month ago and more than a quarter (26 cents) higher than this time last year.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.15 to settle at $62.34. Crude prices rallied last week after the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest monthly oil market report showed that global crude demand is expected to increase to 99.3 million b/d, an increase of 1.5 million b/d over 2017’s rate of 97.8 million b/d. The report also noted that global supply reached 97.9 million b/d last month, which was fueled by growth in domestic production in the U.S. The figure is 700,000 b/d higher than last year’s rate at this time. These findings gave the market some hope that although crude production is booming in the U.S., the newly produced oil will help meet global demand instead of helping global inventories grow.

 The latest weekly U.S. crude production rate record – 10.4 million b/d – was set last week, according to EIA. That rate is likely to continue growing, supported by growth in the number of active oil rigs in the country. Last week, Baker Hughes reported an increase of four rigs. The total is now 800, which is 169 more than last year at this time.

 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 Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia.