Independence Day gas prices expected to be lowest in five years


pumpingasAfter reaching a new high for 2015 last week ($2.80), average gas prices have dropped slightly to $2.78 per gallon Friday. This price is four cents higher than one month ago, yet remains significantly discounted from this time last year with drivers saving an average of 90 cents per gallon year-over-year.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 

6/28/15

Week Ago

6/21/15

Year Ago

6/28/14

National

$2.78

$2.79

$3.68

Virginia

$2.58

$2.59

$3.48

Charlottesville

$2.56

$2.57

$3.38

Norfolk Area

$2.60

$2.61

$3.56

Richmond

$2.53

$2.54

$3.45

Roanoke

$2.53

$2.54

$3.35

Crude Oil

$59.63

per barrel

(Friday 6/26/15 close)

$59.61

per barrel

(Friday 6/19/15 close)

$105.84

per barrel

(6/26/14)

Crude oil prices moved lower late last week due to a stronger U.S. dollar amid concerns about Greece’s financial instability. A default or Greece’s exit from the Euro group would likely impact financial markets and could reduce global energy demand. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported its largest production levels since October 2012, and the U.S. also continues to produce at record

levels. This means the global market is likely to remain oversupplied in the near term and any reductions in demand are expected to put downward pressure on price and exacerbate the current dynamic of oversupply.  At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled at $59.63 per barrel.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted in its weekly report that crude oil inventories fell 4.9 million barrels to 463 million barrels.  Gasoline stocks saw a 700,000 barrel build to 218.5 million barrels.  Gasoline demand jumped to 9.655 million barrels per day (bpd), up 479,000 bpd compared to the previous week and 843,000 bpd higher than one year ago.

“Despite recent increases in prices at the pump, gas prices remain significantly lower than this time last year, fueling Independence Day travel in the week ahead,” said Martha Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “Independence Day gas prices are expected to be the lowest in at least five years, a welcome sign for the 35.5 million people planning a holiday road trip.”

Nearly 85 percent of travelers (35.5 million) will drive to their Independence Day holiday destinations, an increase of 0.7 percent.  Overall, AAA projects 41.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day, the most since 2007 and a 0.7 percent increase from the 41.6 million people who traveled last year.  The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, July 1 to Sunday, July 5.

AAA Mid-Atlantic expects the following local travel projections –

Americans who will drive to their holiday destination:

  • Nationally – 35.5 million
  • Virginia – 998,430


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