VIRGINIA BEACH — The national average for a gallon of gas drifted lower by just four cents since last week to $3.53, according to AAA, which attributed it to a higher demand for gasoline canceling out a lower cost for oil.
“Increasing demand for gasoline would usually drive pump prices higher,” said Ryan Adcock, AAA Tidewater public relations specialist, “but the cost for oil has remained low lately, so drivers should benefit from stable pump prices as Memorial Day drawers near.”
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand grew from 8.62 millions barrels to 9.30 million last week — higher than some market observers expected. That estimate could be revised when EIA releases its final demand measurements for May, AAA said.
Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 3.2 million barrels to 219.7 million, thus, the higher demand coupled with the reduction in stocks slowed pump price decreases, according to AAA.
Thursday’s national average of $3.53 is seven cents less than a month ago and 87 cents less than a year ago, AAA said.
Locally, the gas price average for the commonwealth decreased to $3.32 — six cents lower than a week ago and 14 cents lower than a month ago. In Hampton Roads, prices decreased six cents to $3.29, which is 20 cents lower than last month and 97 cents lower than a year ago.