VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., (November 18, 2014) – As drivers begin the pre-Thanksgiving preparation for trips home to see family and friends, they can be thankful for dropping prices at the pump. Virginia’s average price for regular unleaded fuel is $2.69, 42 cents lower than last year and 25 cents lower than last month. The average price for regular gas in the Hampton Roads area is currently $2.74, 38 cents lower than last year and 24 cents lower than last month. This represents the lowest prices for gas the week before Thanksgiving in Virginia in five years. The national average price of gasoline has remained below $3.00 per gallon for 17 days, with more than three-quarters of U.S. gas stations now reporting prices below this benchmark. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.87 per gallon, which is the lowest mark since December 2, 2010. Today’s price represents a savings of six cents per gallon compared to one week ago, a savings of 25 cents compared to a month ago and 34 cents compared to one year ago.
The downward pressure on prices is expected to continue through the Thanksgiving holiday, meaning drivers are likely to be giving thanks for the cheapest seasonal prices since 2009 when the national average registered $2.63 on the holiday.
The price at the pump is closely tied to the wholesale price of crude oil, and falling global oil prices have been the primary contributing factor to the price at the pump declining for 53 consecutive days. This is the longest streak of declines since 2008. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil, the traditional U.S. benchmark, dropped to its lowest level in more than three years this past Thursday ($74.21 per barrel). Lower crude oil costs are the main reason why drivers are paying an average of 81 cents per gallon less than the 2014 peak of $3.70 per gallon (April 28). The most dramatic discounts are evident when comparing year-over-year averages. Drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. are paying less, and those in 47 states and D.C. are saving a dime or more per gallon when they refuel their vehicles.
Global prices for crude oil continue to fall, touching lows not seen since 2010. Market analysts continue to speculate on what action the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will take during the upcoming meeting, scheduled for Nov 27. Should the cartel opt to cut production, the price at the pump for motorists could return higher. If OPEC instead chooses to maintain market share by leaving production unchanged, global oil prices could slide even further.
As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 325,000 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
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