DFW gas prices are the highest they've been in 3 years. Is $3 a gallon next?

Gasoline prices are surging across the U.S. and are close to a three year high in Texas.
Gasoline prices are surging across the U.S. and are close to a three year high in Texas. AP

Gas prices reached $3 a gallon in Pennsylvania last week and they are close to a three-year high in Texas.

The question facing motorists in Dallas-Fort Worth and the rest of the state is how high will the prices climb?

"The price is going to keep trending upward toward Memorial Day with likely the highest prices in three years," said Daniel Armbruster of AAA Texas.

In Fort Worth, the average price for a gallon of unleaded was $2.66, up 9 cents from the previous week. Dallas was a cent higher at $2.67.

The highest gas prices in Texas were at Midland and El Paso at $2.77 a gallon. The cheapest gas last week was $2.50 a gallon in San Antonio.

Statewide, the average price was $2.60 last week while the national average was $2.81.

If you're curious, the all-time record high for gas in Texas was $3.98 in July 2008.

John Benda, owner of Fuel City, which has stores in Haltom City, Saginaw, Dallas and Mesquite, is a little more optimistic.

He was paying $2.45 a gallon wholesale Monday and selling it at the pump for $2.63 a gallon. Those wholesale prices were down a cent Monday.

"I think we've reached a new plateau," Benda said. "I think there's a greater chance prices will drop 20 or 30 cents a gallon than they will rise 20 or 30 cents a gallon. There's so many sources of fuel out there."

The switch to summer-blend fuels is almost complete, Benda said, which could also stabilize gas prices.

But the surge in prices over the last several months caught Benda by surprise.

"I did not see it coming," Benda said. "I think a lot of people lost money."

One other factor is crude exports, which result in higher local prices. The U.S. reached a record 2.331 million barrels per day last week, a new record, according to the Energy Information Administration.

"Amid rising global demand and reduced output from OPEC and its partners, including Russia, the U.S. has been able to sell more crude to foreign buyers," AAA said Monday.

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @fwhanna
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