VIRGINIA BEACH — Lower oil prices, modest domestic gasoline demand, and a quiet hurricane season are combining to drive pump prices lower, according to AAA Tidewater, as the national average for a gallon of gas fell seven cents in the past week to $3.77.
“According to weather analysts, it’s the first time in 25 years that a named Atlantic storm did not develop in August. That’s the good news,” said Ryan Adcock, AAA Tidewater public relations specialist, “but we still have another month of peak hurricane season, and these storms can affect gas prices by disrupting oil production and refining.”
Oil prices dipped on recent lackluster Chinese manufacturing output due to lower demand for goods and new COVID‑19 outbreaks in critical industrial cities, according to a press release from AAA Tidewater, fueling fears that oil demand could drop in China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil.
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), domestic gas demand increased from 8.43 million barrels per day to 8.59 million last week, nearly 1 million barrels lower than the last week of August 2021. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 1.1 million barrels to 214.5 million.
Despite the rise in demand and tightening supply, lower oil prices led to falling prices at the pump. Should oil prices continue to drop, that trend should continue.
Monday’s national average of $3.77 is 31 cents less than a month ago, but 59 cents more than a year ago.
Prices across the commonwealth fell to $3.55, $1.31 lower than the highest state average of $4.86, set on June 14. In Hampton Roads, prices decreased eight cents to $3.48, 36 cents lower than last month but, 52 cents higher than a year ago.