Gas prices increase in Virginia by 7 cents in past week

Posted at 7:06 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 12:17:38-05

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Gas prices are up seven cents in Virginia, and that's just in the past week.

We are now seeing an average of $3.27 per gallon. Last year, gas prices were $1.05, less than what we are paying now at the pump.

If Russia invades Ukraine, Vice President Kamala Harris says we could see gas prices rise even higher.

According to energy analysts, Russia produces more than one-tenth of the world's oil supply. That means tensions between Russia and Ukraine could send the price of oil to more than $100 a barrel.

While the United States isn't a major importer of Russian oil, if the global market value of the barrel jumps, there could be a domino effect at the pump.

News 3 spoke with drivers in our area to see how this is impacting Hampton Roads. Drivers tell us they're worried they just can't keep up.

"It's really crazy," Robert Hickson, driver in Chesapeake said. "You go to put gas in the car, and it just seems like it just don't doesn't last as long.”

“Before? It'd be like $25. Now it's like $35, almost $40?” Terrari Smith, a driver in Chesapeake, said.

According to AAA Tidewater, on average gas prices in the Hampton Roads area have surged to $3.39. A year ago, that same gallon only cost $2.53. In Hampton Roads, prices increased one cent to $3.38, which is 28 cents higher than last month and 84 cents higher than a year ago.

February 22, 2022Week AgoMonth AgoYear Ago
Hampton Roads$3.38$3.37$3.10$2.54

“That comes prices now up about 25 cents a gallon from where they were a month ago," Patrick De Haan said.

Gas Buddy's Patrick De Haan says the pandemic kept people at home for a long time, but now people are driving back to work and out and about. The demand for gas has sent prices soaring, but production just can't keep up.

“That's now the problem is that demand has come roaring back, but oil production has not, and that's pushed up oil prices considerably," De Haan said.

Rideshare and delivery drivers are also being impacted, which could, in turn, affect those who use their services.

“I would suspect that there will be a trickle-down. There're certainly going to be some businesses that are going to have to increase delivery fee charges to compensate for this," Holly Colling Dalby, Director of Public Affairs at AAA Tidewater, said.

“We're getting into the prime driving season as we approach Spring Break and then Memorial Day and on into summer, and I don't think if they do come down they're not going to come down drastically,” Dalby said.

Old Dominion University economics professor Robert McNab says drivers can expect to continue to see an increase at the pumps.

"Russia is a large player on world oil and gas markets. You should expect gas prices to increase this week and next. If things escalate, they will continue to increase. What we’re going to see over the coming weeks if this continues to escalate is our pocket books are going to be punished by Russia’s decisions to cease territory from the Ukraine. The federal reserve is probably going to have to become even more aggressive in combating inflation," McNab said.

The experts we spoke with say there are a couple of things you can do to cut down costs. They recommend slowing down to enhance how many miles you're getting per tank, using apps like Gas Buddy and AAA. These apps help find the most affordable prices locally, keeping your tires properly inflated, and taking as many things as you can out of your vehicle to avoid hauling that extra weight.