VIRGINIA BEACH — The national average for a gallon of gas rose four cents since last week to $3.57, and AAA said the seasonal surge in gasoline demand leading into the long holiday weekend was the culprit.
AAA is forecasting Memorial Day road trips will be up 6% over last year, with more than 37 million Americans expected to drive to their destinations.
“The rise in demand for gasoline is helping to push pump prices higher for now,” said Ryan Adcock, AAA Tidewater public relations specialist. “But the increase is mitigated by the low cost of oil, which is wobbling around in the low $70s per barrel. Pump prices could stabilize or fall once this long weekend is in the rearview mirror.”
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand increased from 8.91 barrels per day last week to 9.43 million, helping to boost pump prices. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2 million barrels to 216.3 million.
If gas demand grows amid tighter supplies, AAA said drivers will likely see pump prices rise.
Thursday’s national average of $3.57 is eight cents less than a month ago and $1.02 less than a year ago.
Locally, the gas price average for the commonwealth increased to $3.33 — two cents higher than a week ago and 14 cents lower than a month ago. In Hampton Roads, prices increased six cents to $3.36, which is 11 cents lower than last month and $1.09 lower than a year ago.