VIRGINIA BEACH — Spring has sprung with gas demand surging last week as motorists took advantage of better driving weather, but fears of a recession caused global oil prices to hover near $70 a barrel, mitigating a rise in gas prices.
The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline drifted lower since last week by three cents to $3.43.
“We may be seeing a return to seasonal trends in demand with warmer weather and longer days,” said Ryan Adcock, AAA Tidewater public relations specialist. “But waffling oil prices could mitigate any increase at the pump for now.”
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand increased from 8.59 million barrels per day to 8.96 million last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased significantly by 6.4 million barrels to 229.6 million. Increasing demand amid tighter supply would typically push pump prices higher, however, recent lower oil prices have pushed prices down.
Today’s national average of $3.43 is four cents more than a month ago but 80 cents less than a year ago.
Locally, the gas price average for the commonwealth increased to $3.27, three cents higher than a week ago and eight cents higher than a month ago. In Hampton Roads, prices increased nine cents to $3.29, which is 23 cents higher than last month and 73 cents lower than a year ago.