(AAA) – The statewide gas price average in Texas is $2.28 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel, according to the AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch.
That price is three cents more than on this day last week and is 17 cents less per gallon compared to this day last year. Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Texas, drivers in Midland are paying the most on average at $2.42 while drivers in Victoria are paying the least at $2.19 per gallon.
The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.63, which is two cents more compared to this day last week and 10 cents less than the price per gallon at this same time last year.
Prices across the state increased week-to-week, as demand for retail gasoline increased. Gasoline demand numbers look more like summer than fall in the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest reports.
The good news for drivers, regional refinery utilization increased as well, bumping rates to 89%. Refinery maintenance appears to be slowing, which will help to increase utilization this month and could prevent prices from spiking.
“Demand for retail gasoline has increased in the last week causing prices to move upwards slightly,” said Daniel Armbruster, AAA Texas spokesperson. “Despite recent price fluctuations, Texans are still paying 17 cents less per gallon compared to one year ago as the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel period quickly approaches.”
Crude oil prices have increased in recent days after the market expressed relief following U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ announcement that the U.S. and China, the two largest oil-consuming countries in the world, are on track to complete phase one of their trade negotiations and a deal would likely be signed around mid-November.
If trade tensions continue to subside, crude prices may continue to increase.