Thursday, June 20, 2024

AAA: National Pump Prices Hit the Rest Stop Ahead of Long Holiday Weekend

The price of a gallon of gasoline has been on the rise in Greater Williamsburg since Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana's oil operations. (Steve Roberts, Jr./WYDaily)
(WYDaily File)

VIRGINIA BEACH — The national average for a gallon of gasoline wobbled slightly since last Thursday before settling one cent higher at $3.61.

According to the automobile association, the lack of pump price movement is typical in the days leading up to Memorial Day. However, with it forecasting a record 38.4 million drivers hitting the road for the long weekend, the price needle could point a bit higher, at least temporarily, it added.

“Since the pandemic, the summer driving season has not seen a surge in demand, which can push pump prices higher,” said Ryan Adcock, AAA spokesperson. “So it will be interesting to see if this year bucks that trend. This week’s move by the Biden Administration to sell off the million-barrel Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve might help stave off any regional pump price surges, but likely won’t move the national average that much.”

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand rose unexpectedly from 8.87 million to 9.31 million barrels per day last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased slightly from 227.8 to 226.8 million barrels, while gasoline production increased last week, averaging 10 million daily barrels. An increase in gasoline demand paired with falling oil prices could cause pump prices to remain relatively flat for now, according to AAA.

Thursday’s national average was $3.61, five cents less than a month ago but seven cents more than a year ago.

Locally, the gas price average for the Commonwealth increased to $3.47. Thursday’s price was six cents higher than a week ago and four cents lower than a month ago. In Hampton Roads, prices increased six cents to $3.42, which was 11 cents lower than last month and 11 cents higher than a year ago.

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