Millions of Texans preparing to hit the road for the Fourth of July holiday will be happy to know that they’ll have a little extra money to spend on hot dogs and sunscreen thanks to drastically lower prices at the pump.
Statewide, gas has dropped 16 cents in four weeks to hit $2.04 for a gallon of regular. That’s five cents lower than last week and eight cents under what it was in 2016, AAA Texas Fuel Gauge said Thursday.
Anyway you slice it, hitting the road this weekend is great timing.
Patrick DeHaan, a senior oil analyst at GasBuddy.com.
In Fort Worth and Arlington, the $2.04 average price was a whopping 21 cents below the first of June and seven cents lower than last week, the travel agency reported. For the previous four weeks, Fort Worth and Arlington reported the highest gas prices among the state’s metro areas.
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“Any way you slice it, hitting the road this weekend is great timing,” said Patrick DeHaan, a senior oil analyst at GasBuddy.com. “Hit the road while the going is good.”
Motorists in Galveston were paying the most at $2.07 while Amarillo drivers were paying the least at $1.89.
According to GasBuddy.com, it is possible to find even cheaper fuel. In Arlington, there were a number of stations selling gas for $1.86 a gallon, while in North Fort Worth the price was $1.80 at the Driver Travel Center at 3101 North Freeway and NE 30th Street.
More than 3.2 million people in Texas are expected to travel over the Independence Day weekend, 3.2 percent more than last year, while nationally 44.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from Friday to Tuesday, AAA reported. About 2.7 million will drive to their destination in Texas.
The price of gas has fallen for 27 consecutive days, AAA reported. Higher gasoline and crude oil inventories, high refinery output and lower demand are contributing to this downward trend.
Crude oil makes up 50 percent of the price of gasoline. After hitting about $50 a barrel in the spring, crude slipped as low as $42 last week, DeHaan said. Oil was trading around $45 a barrel on Thursday, well below the $100 a barrel from a few years ago. He predicts that oil will stay in the $40 to $55 a barrel range this year.
Gas prices typically climb and peak in the early summer months, not only because of higher demand but also because it costs more to make the low-emission fuel required in urban areas at this time of year.
“It’s been going down ... it’s dropped like 30 cents over the last month,” said John Benda, the owner of the Fuel City convenience store chain, who was selling gas at $1.91 a gallon on Thursday. “I expect the price of fuel to stay lower through the summer.”