AAA: Virginia gas prices still above $2 a gallon

gas pricesVirginia average gas prices continue to hover above $2 per gallon since news of the Colonial Pipeline leak in Alabama last month.

Since then, Colonial Pipeline has restored to normal operations, yet the price at the pump remains unchanged due to rising crude oil costs.  Today, the average price for a gallon of gasoline in Virginia is $2.10, down a penny since last week, unchanged compared to a month ago and 11 cents higher than a year ago.

“Virginia motorists have come accustomed to seeing gas prices fall this time of year due to decreased driving demand and the switch-over to the less expensive, winter blend of gasoline,” said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “This year, we have seen a combination of factors reverse that trend, leaving Virginia drivers paying a bit more per gallon than last year.”

The national average currently sits at $2.23 per gallon, which is a penny less than one week ago, two cents more than one month ago and two cents more year-over-year. The National average is down 16 cents per gallon versus the 2016 peak price reached in June ($2.39).

This year’s seasonal refinery maintenance continues across the United States and select regional markets are still under pressure as a result of planned and unplanned maintenance.  Although gasoline demand typically retreats during the fall due to lower driving demand and the switch-over to winter-blend gasoline, continued unplanned outages could create volatility and put pressure on gas prices in the near term.

Pump prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have seen slight increases over the past week. There has been a lot of refinery maintenance in the region. OPIS reports that there is ongoing maintenance in Newfoundland and New Brunswick, as well as at Delta’s Trainer, Pa. refinery. The refinery plans to keep its fluid catalytic cracking unit down at least another month for maintenance. Another factor impacting supply in the region is two critical Canadian refineries that send gasoline to the Eastern Seaboard have not been contributing much gasoline to the area due to maintenance. Pennsylvania ($2.40) and Washington D.C. ($2.45) are both on the top-10 list of the country’s most expensive markets.


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