HAMPTON ROADS — Residents can expect to pay more at the pump compared to last year, according to AAA Tidewater Virginia.
How high? Try 98 cents.
“Motorists in Virginia have seen flat gas prices partly due to refinery utilization nearly back to pre-pandemic levels and gasoline stocks building up amid lower crude oil prices,” said Holly Dalby, spokesperson for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “However, crude started to see some upward movement this week, which could translate to small increases at the pump by the end of April.”
According to the AAA Tidewater Virginia, compared to mid-April 2020, gas prices were expensive since that timeframe was “prime quarantine time across the country.”
However, it is not clear exactly why gas prices have increased over the past year.
“At 85%, refinery operations are at their fullest capacity since the week of March 23, 2020, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data,” stated AAA Tidewater Virginia. “Should this positive utilization trend continue, it could help to offset increases in demand and help the national average stay under $3/gallon.”
AAA Tidewater Virginia noted that crude oil prices have increase by more than $3.80 per barrel (bbl) last week because of “marketing consolidating pricing contracts.”
“Continuing market optimism that crude demand may increase more than expected due to increasing vaccine rollouts helped to lift prices,” AAA Tidewater Virginia noted, adding the EIA’s weekly reported showed the amount of crude oil available had decreased by 5.9 million bbl, which led to a price increase. “If crude prices continue to rise and remain high, pump prices will likely follow suit.”
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