VIRGINIA BEACH — The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by three cents to $3.39 since Monday, a penny more than a week ago.
According to AAA, one reason could be an increase in demand.
“Another reason is that the seasonal switch to summer blend gasoline is underway, which may account for this bounce in pump prices,” said Ryan Adcock, AAA Tidewater public relations specialist, “This blend is designed to lower emissions during the summer and is more expensive to refine. Switching to summer blend usually adds about five to ten cents to the price of gasoline.”
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand jumped from 8.91 million to 9.11 million barrels per day last week, while total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by nearly 1 million barrels to 239.2 million.
That increase in demand, amid tighter supplies, has contributed to rising pump prices. Should demand continue to grow, drivers will likely continue to see pump prices increase, AAA said.
Friday’s national average of $3.39 is ten cents less than a month ago and 33 cents less than a year ago.
Locally, the gas price average for the commonwealth dropped to $3.14 — three cents lower than a week ago and 24 cents lower than a month ago. In Hampton Roads, prices decreased a penny to $3.03, which is 33 cents lower than last month and 55 cents lower than a year ago.