PERMIAN BASIN (KMID/KPEJ) – In tonight’s Powering the Permian Report, gas prices are dropping across the country, as well as here in West Texas.

In Ector County, drivers are paying an average of $3.13, while Midlandlers are paying a little more at $3.20 per gallon. Drivers in Howard County are paying some of the lowest prices in the state, with an average of $3.03 per gallon.

Experts say they knew a drop was coming.

“It’s some very good numbers, especially as we are heading into the holiday months,” says Mark Jenkins, of the AAA Auto Club. “Um, people are, you know, looking for ways to save, and it looks like, at least for now, uh, they’re doing so when they head to the pump, compared to what we had been paying earlier this year.”

AAA says the drop is because of the seasonal downturn in fuel demand, coupled with stronger gasoline supplies and the switch to the cheaper winter blend gasoline. But these gas prices might not last long.

“We hope that they’ll remain low and maybe even a little bit lower, but of course things can change very quickly, given the geopolitical tensions that we’re seeing overseas,” continued Jenkins.

Gas prices are also affected by local oil prices. Currently, a barrel of crude oil is up, nearing $85.

According to Bloomberg, that’s up 55 cents from when markets opened this morning.

Right now, there are 312 rigs running in the Permian Basin, which is down 19% from this time last year.