Gas prices continue to tumble in Texas with the statewide average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel now at $2.75 a gallon.
That’s 6 cents less than a week ago and 24 cents lower than what it was selling for a year ago, according to the AAA Motor Club fuel survey.
Fort Worth motorists are paying the least among the state’s metro areas at $2.63 a gallon while drivers in Corpus Christi are digging into their pockets the deepest at $2.81 a gallon, the AAA survey states.
The Texas average price per gallon is 20 cents less than the national average of $2.95. This week, the average price of gas fell below $3 a gallon nationally for the first time in nearly four years.
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Drivers in Texas are paying about $38.50 to fill up the typical 14-gallon fuel tank, the AAA reported, or about $3 per tank less than last year.
“Gas prices usually follow the trend in oil prices. If oil prices continue to fall, gas prices will continue to fall,” said Bernard Weinstein, an economist at Southern Methodist University. “Consumers are happy that they’ve got some additional change in their pockets.”
The price of oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 77 cents Thursday to close at $77.91 a barrel.
FortworthGasPrices.com late Thursday was reporting an average price of $2.63 per gallon, with motorists reporting stations in Hurst and North Richland Hills selling gas as low as $2.39.
In the AAA survey, drivers in Dallas were paying an average of $2.64 a gallon, slightly more than the western part of the Metroplex. In Houston, the cost was $2.77.
Besides global oil prices, another key factor driving down gas prices this fall is the seasonal change in the “recipe” for gasoline at refineries. The gas contains more liquid such as butane, which is cheaper to produce but too volatile to use during the hotter summer months.
Analysts expect the price of gas to stabilize but remain relatively low. Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, said last week that over the next four or five years the price will be $2.75 to $3.40 a gallon, an amount he described as “temperate.”
“We’re in a good place moving closer to the end of the year,” Doug Shupe, a spokesman for AAA Texas/New Mexico, said in a statement.