AAA: Crude oil prices to hit 7-year high, expect to pay more at the pump


A gasoline station attendant pumps gas in this July 13, 2006 photo in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, file)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Drivers can expect gas prices to increase by as much as 20 cents through the end of August, even after the national gas price average has increased 40% since the start of 2021, according to AAA.

In Virginia, the average price for a gallon of regular gas is $2.94. That’s up one cent from a week ago and up two cents from a month ago, but up 96 cents from a year ago.

“Robust gasoline demand and more expensive crude oil prices are pushing gas prices higher,” AAA spokesperson Morgan Dean said. “We had hoped that global crude production increases would bring some relief at the pump this month, but weekend OPEC negotiations fell through with no agreement reached. As a result, crude prices are set to surge to a seven year-high.”

In Richmond specifically, according to AAA data, the average price of a gallon of regular gas did not change from last week. However, the current $2.92 average is an increase of nearly a dollar from this time last year.

LocationJuly 6Weekly ChangeLast MonthLast Year
Fredericksburg$2.92No change$2.94$2.00
Norfolk Area$2.92-$0.01$2.88$1.90
Richmond$2.92No change$2.94$1.98
Gas prices from AAA, based on the average price per gallon of self-serve, regular gasoline.

According to a Tuesday release, the latest weekly report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that gasoline demand remains robust at 9.1 million barrels per day, despite a weekly decrease. EIA also reported that gasoline stocks increased last week.

Dean said that AAA is also watching Tropical Storm Elsa to see how it could impact crude and gasoline production and distribution.

“Its current track does not bring it over the areas where the crude and gas production operations are located in and around the Gulf Coast,” he said. “However, storms can cause disruptions to distribution areas if there is a storm surge, power outages, wind and rain damage, etc.”

Overall, the national average for a regular gallon of gas is expected to rise to more than $3.25 this summer.

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