Strong Fall demand sends pump prices rising

We took a hit from Harvey, but it’s not keeping us down when it comes to gas prices.

While prices are increasing across the nation, Texas motorists are still paying some of the cheapest prices in the country for gasoline.

Texas ranks 4th in the nation among states with the lowest gas prices.

The statewide gas price average in Texas is $2.30 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel, according to the AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch. That price is five cents more than last week and is 29 cents more per gallon compared to this day last year.

Fall's been warmer than usual and that's driven gas demand up. Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas says consumers fill up their tanks more frequently, supply levels are tightening.

“It’s been about 12 years since we’ve seen demand this high for gasoline at this time of year. So, as consumers do fill up their tanks more frequently, supply levels are going to tighten a little bit, that will cause gas prices to increase,” said Armbruster.

He said most market analysts believe the demand and high price, is short lived.

“Hurricane Harvey was devastating and we’ve finally started to see the market stabilize just about a month or so ago. And just as that began to happen, we’re now starting to see this unusual high demand for this time of year,” said Armbruster.

As consumers fill up their tanks more frequently, supply levels are tightening which is causing gas prices to increase.

“Market analysts note that consumers took advantage of unseasonably warm weather in recent weeks, with more people spending time outdoors, causing a spike in demand for gasoline, said Armbruster. “With one of the busiest travel periods of the year around the corner, now is the time to address any vehicle maintenance needs. AAA Texas encourages motorists to make sure their vehicle is properly maintained before hitting the road for Thanksgiving holiday travel.”

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA), report showed major inventory draws and increased exports, both of which have helped push oil prices higher. This news has given market observers renewed confidence in seeing oil prices pushing higher as supplies appear to grow tighter and demand remains strong.

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