TEXAS (KMID/KPEJ)- Drivers may see higher prices at the pump this Labor Day weekend, according to the AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch.

The statewide gas price average in Texas is $3.42 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel. That price is two cents less than on this day last week and is six cents more 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 $3.93 per gallon while drivers in San Angelo are paying the least at $3.27 per gallon. 

The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.82, which is two cents less when compared to this day last week and two cents less than the price per gallon at this same time last year.

While the statewide gas price average is down from a week ago, it has increased slightly over the last three days. This suggests price fluctuations remain possible through the holiday weekend. There are two key factors that could cause gas prices to further increase in the days ahead: busy holiday travel and Hurricane Idalia.

Travel Demand

It’s been a record summer for travel and there will be more pressure on demand for fuel this Labor Day. AAA Travel domestic bookings are four percent higher for the holiday over last year. This could mean gas prices will increase in the days to come. Supplies for fuel remain healthy, but have dropped week to week.

Hurricane Impact

Hurricane Idalia caused three refineries to temporarily shutdown along on the gulf coast, which could put upward pressure on fuel prices. Typically following a hurricane that impacts oil/gas operations there can be brief spikes in pump prices. As the market settles and supply/demand rebalance, prices usually come down after a couple of weeks. Crude prices rose as Idalia made landfall along Florida’s gulf coast. Crude accounts for 50% of the cost of gasoline.

“While gas prices have increased slightly in the last few days, holiday travelers will see pump prices fairly close to where they were a year ago,” said Daniel Armbruster, AAA Texas spokesperson. “Demand for fuel remains strong which could cause prices to further increase over the holiday. AAA Travel bookings are four percent higher compared to Labor Day 2022 and Hurricane Idalia also put upward pressure on fuel prices.”