Gas prices back over $2 a gallon in Valley, Virginia
Virginia’s average price rose seven cents in the last week and many regions around the state are now seeing averages above $2. The average price for regular unleaded in Virginia as of this morning is $2.01 per gallon, up seven cents since last week.
Pump prices have been driven by crude oil prices surging more than 20 percent this month while refinery issues have exacerbated price increases in areas supplied by these facilities. This includes a number of refineries in the Gulf Coast that are undergoing unplanned maintenance as a result of flooding in Louisiana and a refinery fire in Texas.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices have increased more than 20 percent in August. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI closed down 84 cents from last week to settle at $47.64 per barrel, closing above the $46 mark every day this week. This upward momentum has been further supported by reports that OPEC members will again consider an agreement that would limit production in the face of the global glut of crude oil supplies that has more than halved prices in recent years.
“While pump prices in our region have moved higher over the past week, domestic gasoline supplies remain high and oil prices remain relatively lower compared to recent years,” said Tammy Arnette, Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Prices could even dip back below $2.00 per gallon once the summer driving season is complete and as many regions are allowed to transition to selling cheaper-to-produce winter-blend gasoline.”
In the coming days and weeks, retail gas prices may be affected by the decline in demand for gasoline as summer comes to an end, especially after Labor Day. The outcome of several weather disturbances are also on the radar, especially if they were to reach the United States, causing refineries to slow or shut down. Refineries will also contribute to a change in prices as they shift to producing cheaper and easier to make winter blends of gas.