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Fourth of July gas prices the lowest since 2005

During the July 4th weekend motorist should expect to pay the lowest price for gas since 2005.
During the July 4th weekend motorist should expect to pay the lowest price for gas since 2005. Star-Telegram archives

The temperature may be rising, but motorists will be spending less of their cool cash for gas this Fourth of July weekend.

Gas prices are expected to be at their lowest since 2005. In Fort Worth and Arlington, the average price for unleaded is $2.17 a gallon, which is 45 cents lower than a year ago, according to GasBuddy. Statewide the average price is $2.12, which is 49 cents lower than a year ago.

“We’re still in summer but crude oil prices have rebounded from the Brexit news and will have minimal effect on prices,” said Will Speer, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, referencing Britain’s vote last week to drop its membership in the European Union.

About 95 percent of Fort Worth and Arlington gas stations are selling fuel at more than $2, making it harder to sneak around and find really cheap gas, Speer said. In Texas, about 83 percent are above that price point.

Nationally, the average price for a gallon of gas is $2.29.

Gas prices typically climb during the summer months due to higher demand and the more costly type of low-emission fuel that is produced by the nation’s refineries, which also undergo maintenance.

In another piece of good news, this may the highest price gas hits for the summer, even though demand is expected to remain high.

Of course, the price of crude oil, which makes up 50 percent of the price of gasoline, also has an impact and the price has been up near $50 a barrel. While still well below the $100 a barrel level from a few years ago, as recently as April 4 it was $37.

But in another piece of good news, Speer said this may the highest gas prices get for the summer, even though demand is expected to remain high, he said.

The latest government figures show that demand is near record levels at 9.7 million barrels a day, which is slowly eating away at the crude oil inventory of 527 million barrels, excluding what is in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Speer said.

GasBuddy’s findings mirror those reported in the AAA Texas Fuel Gauge from earlier in the week, which said motorists are likely to continue paying prices unseen in a decade. AAA Texas predicts that 3.1 million people will travel over the holiday weekend.

Showing the same $2.12 statewide average price, AAA Texas said prices did jump slightly ahead of the weekend in Fort Worth and Arlington by three cents to $2.18. Dallas, at $2.19 per gallon, was reporting the highest cost in the state’s major metropolitan areas. Amarillo was the lowest at $1.98.

Max B. Baker: 817-390-7714, @MaxbakerBB

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