With Americans self-quarantined and reluctant to travel, gas prices dipped to their lowest in 14 months. What's more, the last time Texans saw gas prices this low on this date was in 2016.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, is not the sole reason for the drop. An ongoing beef between OPEC and non-OPEC nations, especially Saudi Arabia and Russia, also has contributed to falling fuel prices at a time Americans typically see a rise.
Industry experts say less demand in the coming weeks, as the coronavirus works its way across the nation, could push prices at the pump even lower, especially if supply increases.
“As demand falls for oil and gasoline, prices are plummeting at the pumps,” Daniel Armbruster, AAA Texas spokesperson, told the Herald-Press. “It's likely motorists in the region will see cheaper gas prices in the week ahead due to market uncertainties associated with the coronavirus.”
With vast oil reserves and refineries, Texas has reported gas prices almost 30 cents a gallon cheaper than the national average of $2.20. East Texas residents are saving almost a dime more than that, with some service stations offering gas at $1.82 a gallon.
Even speculating on future gas prices during this volatile time is difficult; an agreement by OPEC and non-OPEC nations to slow production could increase prices.
Summer-blend gasoline, which is more stable during summer, increases production costs and typically pushes up gas prices, starting in April or May. Refineries must go through a costly retrofitting to produce summer-blend fuel.
Motorists may find gas prices along their route with the free AAA App for iPhone, iPad, and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com/mobile