PERMIAN BASIN (KMID/KPEJ) – Exxon Mobil will be producing battery-grade lithium, with the expectation of becoming a major supplier for electric vehicle batteries by 2030.

The oil company actually invented the lithium-ion battery in the 1970s.

Exxon Mobil plans to produce the lithium with a partner, Tetra Technologies, eventually supporting the manufacturing of more than a million EV’s each year.

Back on the gasoline side of things, gas prices are continuing to drop across West Texas and all across the rest of the state.

Right now, Texas has the lowest gas price average in the country, with our area seeing the effect of some of those low prices. This comes as many fuel companies start switching to the winter blend full-time.

Locally, Ector County drivers are paying an average of $2.88 per gallon at the pump. Midlanders are paying a bit more at $2.97, while Howard County is seeing some low prices with the average sitting at $2.84. Andrews is about on par with Midland, at $2.94.

Oil prices are also affecting the price of gas across Texas.

Currently, a barrel of crude is sitting at $76.50. That’s a big drop, more than $1.75, compared to when markets opened this morning.

Industry experts say there are a lot of reasons for the drop, from the war in Israel to the record rate that the US is producing oil.

Right now, our local rig count is staying steady at 310 up and running rigs. That’s down from last year by 21%.