Gas Prices Rising With Temperatures

Spring is right around the corner, and with it comes two givens---warmer weather and higher gas prices. After a slight decrease last month, prices at the pump have begun ticking upward in the last two weeks. AAA has the Texas average at $2.28 per gallon, up two cents from last week but 16 cents more than a year ago at this time.

The increase is part of a larger trend that's expected to continue over the next few months. The Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) predicts the national average will rise more than ten percent between now and this summer, and could even approach or surpass $3 per gallon in some states. Patrick DeHaan, analyst with GasBuddy, says there are multiple factors at work, starting with oil prices. "During the stock market correction a few weeks ago, (oil) tumbled from $66 a barrel down to about $58, but now we're back up to about $61 a barrel," he tells KTRH. "The other big factor is refinery maintenance...refineries start to do maintenance ahead of the summer driving season to make sure they're well equipped for the increase in demand that comes with summer."

While prices are expected to steadily increase here and around the nation between now and summer, DeHaan doesn't expect Texas to reach the $3 per gallon level based on a couple of factors. "Texas has relatively low gas taxes so that's a benefit, plus Texas is home to a significant portion of domestic crude oil and refineries," he says.

But perhaps the biggest factor in rising gas prices every spring is demand---that is, more people are taking to the roads. As you plan your spring and summer driving trips, DeHaan recommends shopping around for gas. "There is always going to be a station that lags behind (the others)," he says. "So take the extra 10 seconds and probably save 10 to 20 cents a gallon."

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