Gas prices hold steady as Middle East tensions rise

September 9, 2013 2:49 pmBy: 
Gas prices in Oakton in late August

Gas prices in Oakton in late August

Labor Day marked the end of the summer driving season with the fourth highest Labor Day price on record.  The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline was $3.58 per gallon Friday, up a penny from a week ago, yet three cents less than a month ago and 30 cents less than a year ago.

While oil prices remain at lofty levels due to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and North Africa, retail gas prices have not moved markedly higher during this period.  Upward pressure from higher oil prices have been largely offset by comfortable domestic gasoline supplies, demand that has lagged a year ago, and an Atlantic hurricane season that has, thus far, been very weak (for the first time in more than ten years there has been no Atlantic hurricane through the end of August and it is possible that this year may mark the latest date in the satellite era for a first hurricane to form).

With this in mind, the potential remains for higher retail prices in the coming weeks and months should storms impact gasoline production and distribution.

“Gasoline prices usually drop with the end of the summer driving season, but it is impossible to say whether this will be a typical year given the potential risks facing the market,” said John B. Townsend, Manager of Public and Government Affairs AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “Escalating tensions in the Middle East and North Africa, possible U.S. action in Syria or a major hurricane could make it more expensive to buy gas, while a relatively calm month should send prices much lower. It is too soon to know how these factors might affect motorists in the coming weeks.”

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

9/8/13

Week Ago

Year Ago

National

$3.57

$3.59

$3.82

Washington, DC

$3.73

$3.77

$3.97

DC Only

$3.72

$3.76

$3.97

DC Metro

$3.53

$3.56

$3.80

Crude Oil

$110.53 per barrel (at Friday’s close)

$107.65

per barrel

(8/30/13)

$95.53

per barrel

(9/6/12)

 

Oil prices remain elevated as tensions in the Middle East and North Africa have escalated and the U.S. publicly considers military action in Syria.  Though Syria’s impact on the global crude market is more political than physical, there is potential for prices to move higher should violence spread to other countries in the region.  Crude oil settled at $110.53 at Friday’s close, up nearly three percent on the week and marking the 46th consecutive settlement above $100 per barrel.

Comments

More Top Stories

  • Politics Top Stories Poll: Redskins should keep their name

    Poll: Redskins should keep their name

    By a margin of more than 3 to 1, Virginia voters say the Washington Redskins should not change the team name, according to a statewide survey released today by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. Overall, 71% of voters support keeping the name, which has been challenged as racist, while 21% said it should be changed. Asked if the name is offensive to Native American Indians, 68% said no, and 23% said yes. Political party identification […]

    Read more →
  • Business Real Estate Top Stories Median home prices up in parts of Northern Virginia

    Median home prices up in parts of Northern Virginia

    The Northern Virginia real estate market experienced some positive trends in August. According to The Long & Foster Market Minute reports, median sale prices increased in some parts of the region, and homes are continuing to sell at a rapid pace in the region, which includes the city of Alexandria, and Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties. Median sale prices in the Northern Virginia region increased in a number of areas compared to the same month in 2013. Prince William […]

    Read more →
  • Education Top Stories Fairfax middle & high schools would open later under new plan

    Fairfax middle & high schools would open later under new plan

    Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Karen Garza will propose a recommendation on later high school start times at the school board’s business meeting on Thursday, September 18, for the Board’s formal consideration at its October 23 meeting. The Superintendent’s recommendation, which would be effective for the 2015-16 school year, proposes high schools beginning between 8 and 8:10 a.m., and middle schools beginning at 7:30 a.m.  The recommendation includes the three secondary schools beginning their day on the high school […]

    Read more →
  • Politics Top Stories Wason Poll: Warner holds big lead over Gillespie in Senate race

    Wason Poll: Warner holds big lead over Gillespie in Senate race

    Democratic Sen. Mark Warner starts the post-Labor Day campaign season with a commanding lead over former National Republican Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie in Virginia’s U.S. Senate race, according to a statewide survey released today by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. Likely voters favor Warner by 53 percent, compared with 31 percent for Gillespie, according to the survey. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis holds a 5% share of the overall vote, with 11% undecided. Warner has stronger […]

    Read more →
  • Health Politics Top Stories McAuliffe announces plan to expand healthcare services

    McAuliffe announces plan to expand healthcare services

    Governor Terry McAuliffe Monday launched “A Healthy Virginia,” a 10-step plan to expand healthcare services to over 200,000 Virginians. It includes authorizations of four emergency regulations, one executive order, and other measures to expand healthcare to Virginia veterans, children, and families. “As governor, there is no greater responsibility than ensuring the health and safety of the citizens you serve. That is why I am so proud to stand here today and unveil ‘A Healthy Virginia’ – a plan that will improve […]

    Read more →
  • Springfield Top Stories Transportation New lanes speed Telegraph Road traffic in Springfield

    New lanes speed Telegraph Road traffic in Springfield

    Two months prior to the project’s final completion, the Virginia Department of Transportation has opened major improvements along Telegraph Road in Alexandria. Drivers on Telegraph now have two lanes in each direction between South Van Dorn Street and South Kings Highway, as well as the following new turn lanes to relieve backups accessing I-495 via South Van Dorn and the bottleneck south of the intersections: · Right-turn lane from northbound Telegraph Road to South Kings Highway · Right-turn lane from […]

    Read more →
  • Politics Top Stories McAuliffe boosts gas pipeline but environmental groups dissent

    McAuliffe boosts gas pipeline but environmental groups dissent

    To hear Gov. Terry McAuliffe tell it, the proposed Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline is Virginia’s pathway to prosperity. To the Virginia League of Conservation Voters its value is “dubious.” “Dominion and its industry partners appear willing to invest billions on outdated ideas that will threaten Virginia’s natural landscape – with an outcome of a paltry 188 long-term jobs. It appeared that there were a greater number of industry lobbyists at today’s press conference than the number of permanent jobs […]

    Read more →
  • Chantilly Education Top Stories Local dancers win six world championships

    Local dancers win six world championships

    Chantilly-based Creative Dance Center Competition Team (CDC*CT) crowned its award-winning season at the Star Dance Alliance World Dance Championships held at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. The CDC*CT made it to the finals, securing six first place championships and two second place championships in various divisions. “I am extremely proud. I am very fortunate to work with a very talented staff of choreographers/teachers, the very best parents, and the most amazing group of dancers any studio director […]

    Read more →

Our weather forecast is from WP Wunderground