The statewide gas price average in Texas is $1.95 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel, according to the AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch. That price is seven cents more than on this day last week and is 27 cents less per gallon compared to this day last year. Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Texas, drivers in El Paso are paying the most on average at $2.13 while drivers in the Sherman-Denison area are paying the least at $1.83 per gallon. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.24, which is seven cents more when compared to this day last week and 31 cents less than the price per gallon at this same time last year.
Texas’ statewide gas price average has been below $2 for a record 284 days, the longest consecutive streak since Texans first saw $2 per gallon gas in 2005. Two factors have contributed to driving up the price at the pump recently: rising crude oil prices and tightening supply. The domestic price of crude (WTI) has been steadily rising since November, with prices topping $49 per barrel. Prices have not been this expensive since February, before stay-at-home guidance was introduced across the country. Crude prices began to rise last month alongside vaccination news and have only increased with it becoming available.
Last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows U.S. gasoline supply levels sit at 238.7 million barrels, which is 1.6 million barrels more than a year ago. While a healthy supply, the year-over-year surplus has been much greater through the last nine months. This fact combined with low utilization rates, which are down 11%, indicates supply could tighten in the weeks ahead especially with refinery consolidations in the northwest and maintenance in the upper Midwest. With that said, market analysts note there is concern surrounding rising COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and a new strain discovered in Europe that could cause a downturn in demand for retail gas, according to Oil Price Information Service.
“Today marks the highest average Texas has seen for a gallon of regular unleaded since mid-March,” said AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster. “However, demand for retail gasoline continues to sit at a lower level than this time last year, which may cause prices to push lower next month.”
Drivers in Texas are paying some of the cheapest prices at the pump, ranking 4th lowest in the country, according to gasprices.aaa.com.
Prices up to date at press time using market prices posted at 3:41 a.m. Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free and revamped AAA App for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route and learn traffic conditions along that route, find discounts, locate parking, book a hotel and request and track AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at www.AAA.com/mobile.
To help members and non-members identify quality auto repair shops that can assist in the maintenance and repair of their vehicles, AAA offers the Approved Auto Repair program as a free public service. AAA-approved repair facilities meet and maintain high professional standards for training, equipment, cleanliness and customer service. Motorists can look for the Approved Auto Repair sign at local auto repair facilities, or search for a nearby AAA-approved shop online at AAA.com/Repair. AAA Texas branch offices throughout the state can be found by visiting www.AAA.com. Follow AAA Texas on Twitter: @AAATexas and Facebook: www.facebook.com/AAATexas.