Augusta Free Press

Gas prices pushing above $2 a gallon mark in Virginia

Gas prices in Virginia moved higher by nine cents per gallon on the week and 15 cents more per gallon on the month.

Sunday’s average price of $2.05 per gallon is 34 cents per gallon less compared to this same date last year.

“Gasoline demand continues to surpass 2015 year-to-date levels, as more drivers take to the roads as a result of lower gas prices,” said Martha Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “And lower prices will likely continue into the summer months, as motorists are expected to pay some of the lowest prices for the summer months since 2004.”

AAA estimates that U.S. drivers have saved nearly $12 billion on gas so far this year compared to the same period in 2015, and drivers this summer should pay the lowest gas prices in 12 years.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up $2.19 over last week, settling at $45.92.  The global oil market is at a crossroads and it is a mystery as to where oil prices might head going forward. Market fundamentals continue to point to extreme oversupply, though expectations of global demand growth or production cuts by major oil producers could influence crude oil prices higher.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports an increase in both crude oil and gasoline inventories. The global oil market is expected to remain well supplied, keeping the price at the pump relatively low compared to previous years.

Lower gas prices are motivating Americans to drive at record levels, and prompted many families to plan road trips this year.  According to a recent AAA survey, more than one-third of Americans (35 percent) are planning to take a family vacation of 50 miles or more away from home in the next 12 months. Fifty-five percent of Americans say they are more likely to take a road trip this year due to lower gas prices.

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