VIRGINIA BEACH— Despite the sour economic news roiling the stock and oil markets, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline had a calm week, remaining at $3.46. Meanwhile, the global oil price plunged into the low to mid $60 per barrel, a level not seen since August 2021.
“Given that the cost of oil accounts for 55% of what we pay for gas, it’s fair to wonder how soon prices will drop at the pump,” said Ryan Adcock, AAA Tidewater public relations specialist, “But gas stations paid for that fuel in their underground tanks weeks ago, when oil was nearly $15 more a barrel. So, it will take time for any savings due to cheaper oil to be seen at the pump. And that is assuming the oil price does not rise again.”
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand increased slightly from 8.56 to 8.59 million b/d last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2.1 million bbl to 236 million bbl last week. Increasing demand amid tighter supply would typically push pump prices higher; however, lower oil prices have countered this effect. If crude oil prices keep falling, drivers could see pump prices decline.
Today’s national average of $3.46 is four cents more than a month ago but 84 cents less than a year ago.
The gas price average for the Commonwealth increased, landing at $3.24. This is three cents higher than a week ago and one cent lower than a month ago. In Hampton Roads, prices increased five cents to $3.20, which is six cents higher than last month and 95 cents lower than a year ago.