AAA says Texas gas prices are lowest in more than decade

AAA says Texas gas prices are lowest in more than decade
Posted at 11:15 AM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 14:13:19-04

The statewide gas price average in Texas is $1.50 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel, according to the AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch.

That price is three cents less than last Thursday and is $1.12 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 $1.76 per gallon. Drivers in the Sherman/Denison are paying the least at $1.17 per gallon.

The AAA's survey indicates gas is averaging $1.66 per gallon in the Corpus Christi area, making it one of the highest in the state. That average is down a penny from last week and significantly from an average of $2.52 per gallon at the same time last year.

The AAA reports the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $1.77, which is two cents less compared to this day last week and $1.11 less than the price per gallon at this same time last year.

The current Texas average for a gallon of unleaded gas is its cheapest since January 2009, the AAA reports. Downward pressure on pump prices is likely to continue due decreased demand and high gasoline stock supplies.

However, some states, such as Texas, could see minimal fluctuation at the pump in coming weeks if demand jumps as some businesses are given the green light to re-open, though, this will not have a large impact for most of the nation’s motorists.

Another factor market analysts will be watching is the impact of the crude oil production cut agreement from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries earlier this month. OPEC+ producers agreed to reduce output by about 9.7 million barrels per day in May and June 2020 because of the current glut.

“COVID-19 has destroyed demand for gasoline for well over a month,” said AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster. “This has allowed oil prices to plummet to historical lows at times in April, and gas prices have slid to prices not seen in more than 11 years in the Lone Star State.”

Refinery utilization increased slightly to just under 75% in the Gulf Coast region last week, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Typicall in April, regional refinery rates in the 90% range.

And on the national level, refinery utilization sits at 70%. U.S. gasoline demand rose to 5.9 million barrels per day last week. That’s up from the nearly 5.3 million barrels per day the week prior but still an extremely low rate compared to last April’s 9.45 million barrels per day average.