VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (August 2, 2016) – Virginia ranks eighth among the 50 states for least expensive gas prices, according to AAA National. This may be due to the fact that the bulk of America’s refining capacity is in the Southeastern United States, and abundant production in the region should keep prices relatively low barring a hurricane or other unexpected event. As of today, gas prices have dropped in Virginia for 53 days. The current average gas price in the Commonwealth is $1.92, which is 4 cents less than last week, an 18 cent decrease from last month and 53 cents less from last year. In Hampton Roads, the price for regular gasoline is $1.87, with just a five cent difference from Virginia’s average. Motorists are enjoying the savings at the pump across Virginia.
With gasoline supplies high and oil prices low, pump prices are likely to remain relatively cheap through the remainder of the summer and into the fall. While a record number of American motorists have hit the road for summer travel, sharply lower gas prices have not triggered the sharply higher gasoline demand that many analysts had anticipated. This was evident in last week’s Energy Information Administration report, which revised the mark for U.S. gasoline demand in May lower by 213,000 barrels per day to 9.436 million. While lower than first reported, this demand number was still the highest total on record for the month of May.
Despite the lowest seasonal prices in more than a decade, unexpected events could trigger higher prices. Rising crude oil costs due to a disruption in supply, stronger than expected economic growth or geopolitical tensions overseas could lead to higher pump prices nationwide, or regional prices could increase due to refinery problems, production cuts, stronger than anticipated demand, or hurricanes that impact distribution and production, which has happened in several Midwestern states over the past week.
Ample domestic oil supplies and a strengthening U.S. dollar have contributed to West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices testing lows not seen since Spring. WTI is priced in U.S. dollars, so as the dollar strengthens, the price of oil becomes relatively more expensive for those holding foreign currencies. This makes oil a less attractive investment and helps reduce prices. If this trend continues, WTI could drop below $40 per barrel for the first time since April 18.
Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.
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