What does lower gasoline demand mean for Houston?


Petroleum Economist Karr Ingham says electric cars and better gas mileage are just a small part of the troubled time for the energy industry. Covid-19 is the offender. "The return of gasoline demand to the pre-pandemic level has mostly to do with the whether or not the economy returns to pre-corona." Economists across the world don't think gasoline demand will ever go back to pre-Covid days. Ingham agrees, but says things are definitely looking up.

Ingham says the covid phenomena has hurt most industries. Energy has the advantage, though of rising demand for oil in developing countries with growing populations needing more of the fuel. And people are traveling more with the availability of Covid vaccinations. Ingham says Houston is already coming back with growth and development of energy, IT,and services industries based here.

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"The onset of Covid-19 is an economic phenomenon and so gasoline demand in the U.S. and other places around the world fell sharply and has been climbing its way upward ever since then." And that's good news for Houston, which Ingham says is the undeniably Oil Capital of the World. Demand is growing because as more covid vaccines go into more arms, travel is growing and gasoline and jet fuel are more in demand every day. Ingham is bullish on Houston's future. Gasoline prices are up 29% since this time last year, and besides the energy sector, 9 Fortune 500 company headquarters are in Houston.

Photo: Getty

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