VIRGINIA BEACH — The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose eight cents since last week to $3.66, according to AAA.
The main culprit is the high cost of oil, it said, which is hovering in the low $80s per barrel. AAA noted the national average has risen daily since March 29.
“When the cost of crude oil crosses the $80 a barrel mark, that puts a lot of upward pressure on what we pay at the pump,” said Ryan Adcock, AAA Tidewater public relations specialist, “and as long as oil costs remain at the current level, drivers will likely see incremental price increases for now.”
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand decreased from 9.3 million barrels per day to 8.94 million last week, while total domestic gasoline stocks dropped by 400,000 barrels to 222.2 million.
AAA said lower demand typically pushes pump prices down, but elevated oil prices have pushed them higher, and if oil prices continue to rise, pump prices will follow suit.
Today’s national average of $3.66 is 20 cents more than a month ago, but 41 cents less than a year ago.
Locally, the gas price average for the commonwealth increased to $3.52, nine cents higher than a week ago and 27 cents higher than a month ago. In Hampton Roads, prices increased nine cents to $3.55, 33 cents higher than last month and 37 cents lower than a year ago.