VIRGINIA BEACH — Lower oil prices are causing pump prices to fall, with the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline dropping a nickel since last week to $3.63, according to AAA.
“The national average reached $3.68 last week, and that might be the peak price for now,” said Ryan Adcock, AAA Tidewater public relations specialist. “As long as the oil cost keeps wobbling around the low to mid $70s per barrel, drivers will benefit when they fuel up.”
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand increased significantly from 8.52 million barrels to 9.51 million last week. The spike in demand surprised market observers, according to AAA, but the estimate could be revised when EIA releases final demand measurements for April.
Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2.4 million barrels to 221.1 million. AAA notes higher demand, alongside a decline in stocks, would typically push pump prices up; however, fluctuating oil prices have pushed them lower. Should oil prices continue to decline, AAA said pump prices would likely follow.
Thursday’s national average of $3.63 is 20 cents more than a month ago, but 50 cents less than a year ago.
Locally, the gas price average for the commonwealth decreased to $3.45 — is six cents lower than a week ago and 14 cents higher than a month ago. In Hampton Roads, prices decreased 10 cents to $3.44, 10 cents higher than last month and 53 cents lower than a year ago.