(AAA) – The statewide gas price average in Texas is $1.63 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel, according to the AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch. That price is seven cents less than this day last week and is 86 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 $1.88 while drivers in Sherman/Denison are paying the least at $1.23 per gallon.
The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $1.89, which is eight cents less compared to this day last week and 86 cents less than the price per gallon at this same time last year.
On the week, pump prices continued to push less expensive with gasoline demand registering at its lowest point since spring of 1968.
The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly report puts demand at nearly 5.1 million barrels per day – a nearly 52-year low – and it’s likely to push lower as Americans are urged to stay at home.
“Drivers in the Lone Star state haven’t seen gas prices this cheap in four years,” said AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster. “Gasoline demand continues to decline as many people adhere to shelter in place orders. Market analysts will be watching to see if the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries will agree on a crude oil production cut today and what that could do to gasoline prices.”
In addition to crude oil, market analysts are also watching refinery rates. The U.S. refinery utilization average is down to 76%, a low not seen since October 2005. In the Gulf Coast region, the latest data shows a rate of 82% which is the lowest since March 2013.
Given the drop in crude oil and gasoline demand, which is expected to push even lower, refineries are reducing production in hopes this could help to balance the amount of gasoline supply in the country.