AAA: Gas prices back under $2 a gallon across Virginia

AAA LogoLike autumn leaves, motorists have come to expect gas prices to fall this time of year.  In recent weeks, gas prices moved up across the country and in the Mid-Atlantic region due to regional refinery maintenance.  However, this week gas prices have begun to retreat and many areas in the Mid-Atlantic are seeing averages under $2 per gallon again.

The national average price of gas has decreased by 5 cents over the past week to $2.17 per gallon Sunday. Despite the slight increase in average pump prices, drivers continue to benefit from substantial discounts compared to recent years. Consumers are saving 12 cents per gallon month-over-month and 73 cents per gallon year-over-year.

The average in Virginia is $1.99 a gallon on Sunday.

Crude oil opened the week higher, yet the commodity fell to two and a half month lows Thursday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a crude stockpile of four times more than market expectations (up 4.2 million barrels).  WTI crude oil closed Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX at $40.73, down $3.56 on the week.

“This year’s autumn refinery maintenance season continues to make headlines for its impact on regional markets,” said Martha M. Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Gas prices in the Mid-Atlantic region have gone up slightly in recent weeks due to maintenance issues, but as issues are resolved and crude oil trends lower, prices at the pump should reverse course just in time for the holidays.”

Although gasoline demand typically retreats during the month of November, which could offset any major spikes in price due to supply shortages, unplanned outages could create volatility and put pressure on the national average in the near term. That said, the refinery maintenance season should be completed by Thanksgiving, and could lead to lower prices at the pump later in the year.



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