AAA reports gas prices rising in West Virginia as nationwide demand increases

West Virginia

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The average price of gasoline across northern West Virginia is nine cents higher this week at $1.931 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

As gas prices increase across the country, AAA said five Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states carry averages of $2/gallon or more: Pennsylvania ($2.22), New York ($2.18), Washington, D.C., ($2.13), New Jersey ($2.02) and Maryland ($2.01). At $1.75, Virginia has the lowest state average in the region.  On the week, the region saw prices increase between two and eight cents.

Regional gasoline stocks have increased for two weeks, with levels inching closer to the 72-million-barrel mark, according to a press release. This build is supported by a small increase in regional refinery utilization, which has mostly hovered near the 50% mark over the last four weeks. AAA advises that gas prices are likely to continue increasing in the weeks ahead.

  • This week’s average prices: northern W.Va. average – $1.931
  • Average price during the week of May 18, 2020 – $1.843
  • Average price during the week of May 28, 2019 – $2.727

The following is a list of the average prices in several West Virginia locations: 

  • $1.959      Bridgeport
  • $1.941      Clarksburg
  • $1.937      Huntington
  • $1.959      Martinsburg
  • $1.952      Morgantown
  • $1.911      Parkersburg
  • $1.922      Weirton
  • $1.870      Wheeling

After dropping to a low of $1.76 in April, the national gas price average is pennies away from hitting the $2/gallon mark, AAA reports. The average now is $1.96, which is eight cents higher than a week ago, and 19 cents more than last month, but still 87 cents cheaper than the end of May 2019. 

The more expensive pump prices can be attributed to fluctuations in crude and demand. In the past week, crude oil hit its highest price point–nearly $34 per barrel–since the administration declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency and many states started implementing stay-at-home restrictions. While demand has been increasing since the end of April, it is down 28% compared to the first three weeks of May last year, according to AAA.

One factor that AAA said it is monitoring and that could cause a sudden spike in gas prices is the Atlantic hurricane season, which is June 1 through November 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts the 2020 season will be above-normal, potentially resulting in 13–19 named storms. An average Atlantic hurricane season typically produces 12 named storms, including 3 major hurricanes.

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate decreased by 67 cents to settle at $33.25 per barrel. Although tension between Hong Kong and China lowered prices on Friday, crude prices generally increased last week amid growing market optimism that domestic crude demand continues to rebound as more states ease stay-at-home restrictions and demand for gasoline has grown, the release states.

Drivers can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide and countywide by clicking here.

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