CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Get ready for more pain at the pump as gas prices are on the rise.
Right now in Texas, the average is $2.90 a gallon. That’s not bad considering the national average is $3.30.
But before you go revving up your engine, you might want to wait a minute. Experts say the price we're paying right now is just the beginning.
“I just don't think it's fair,” Bailey Harborth of Corpus Christi told us as she filled up her car at the Exxon on South Alameda St.
Yes, gas prices going up may not be fair but it's reality.
"I don't know if I even want to drive my car anymore,” Harborth said. “I just want to ride a bike or walk.”
Harborth, like many others, is gearing up for gas prices to skyrocket. Harborth now pays about $40 to fill up right now, though the front-line worker is getting ready to shell out another $6 every time she fills up.
"If I can't pay for my gas, I can't get to work and the people at the hospital can't get the treatment that they need,” Harborth told us.
Gas price-tracking tech company GasBuddy is forecasting the national average to shoot up from this year's average of $3.02 to $3.41 as well as peak in May at an average of $3.79 a gallon. It’s all due to low oil production from OPEC and refinery closures due to the pandemic.
“We are running out of spare capacity and that's the problem,” said Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy. “There's going to be an imbalance between supply and demand that continues into the year ahead.”
De Haan says there will likely be an incentive for oil producers.
“We do expect the high prices to start the year will bring additional oil production online,” he said.
As a result, getting back to where we are now by the end of the year.
When asked if the omicron variant would affect gas prices, if at all, De Haan said, "good news on the less severe side of things for omicron will boost oil demand globally.”
Initially, the emergency of the omicron variant caused prices to plummet $20 a barrel. But at this point, with the changes and the variants during the pandemic, some experts say it's wait and see.
As for Harborth, she's an essential workers whose car is essential. We asked her what she thought a solution might be.
"I think everyone just needs to take a breath and step back,” she told us. “Just try and do everything I can at the end of the day but at the end of the day, I still have to get gas.”
Click here if you'd like to learn more from GasBuddy