Saturday, July 20, 2024

AAA: Gas Prices March Higher with the Arrival of Spring

Gas pump with hand removing nozzle (WYDaily photo/Adobe)
(WYDaily photo/Adobe)

VIRGINIA BEACH — The national average for a gallon of gas rose 11 cents since last week to $3.52, according to AAA.

While domestic gas demand has been lackluster, the automobile association said rising oil prices helped push pump prices higher, adding the Midwest may see a bit of a price reprieve, as the large BP Whiting refinery in Indiana is back up and running after being down since Feb. 1.

“Gas prices are a lot like seasonal temperatures. They start to rise with the arrival of spring, said Ryan Adcock, AAA spokesperson. “And the national average for gas is now higher than a year ago, which we have not seen since late December.”

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand decreased slightly from 9.04 million barrels per day to 8.81 million last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks dropped by 3.3 million barrels to 230.8 million. While lower demand would typically contribute to pushing pump prices lower or slowing increases, AAA said rising oil prices have pushed them higher instead.

Thursday’s national average of $3.52 is 25 cents more than a month ago and nine cents more than a year ago.

Locally, the gas price average for the Commonwealth increased to $3.39 — 11 cents higher than a week ago and 17 cents higher than a month ago. In Hampton Roads, prices increased what AAA called a staggering 16 cents to $3.37, which is 22 cents higher than last month and 20 cents higher than a year ago.

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