VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, (April 20, 2015) - Gas prices in Hampton Roads have shown a slight rise over the past few days, but still remain lower than last year. The average price for regular unleaded gas in the Hampton Roads is currently $2.24 which is $1.28 cheaper than last year, but seven cents higher than last week.
The national average price of gas has increased about seven cents per gallon over the past week due to sharply rising crude oil costs. Domestic crude oil prices last week reached the highest levels of 2015 as supplies built more slowly than anticipated. Despite the increase, consumers continue to benefit from substantially lower gas prices compared to recent years, with today’s national average of $2.46 per gallon representing the least expensive average for this date since 2009 ($2.06).
West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices settled at a 2015 high of $56.71 a barrel last Thursday as the latest EIA report showed that oil supplies increased at the slowest levels since the beginning of the year. The market also weighed potential geopolitical concerns in the Middle East and a weakening dollar. Domestic oil prices are more than $10 per barrel higher than a month ago, which has contributed to higher gas prices.
Planned and unplanned refinery problems also continue to affect the market, and may continue to impact price heading into the summer driving season. These events can have lingering regional impacts, as has been the case on the West Coast where retail prices continue to be among the highest in the nation. Attention is focused on high-cost production countries like the U.S., where new production has been a key contributor to the sharply lower price of crude. With the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil nearly fifty percent lower than the same month last year, more expensive production sources face pressure to remain economically viable in a dramatically different pricing environment. At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX WTI settled 97 cents lower at $55.74 per barrel.
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