TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The statewide pump price average for a gallon of regular unleaded — $1.50 — now sits at the cheapest level since January 2009.
That price is three cents less than this day last week and is $1.12 less per gallon compared to this day last year.
“COVID-19 has destroyed demand for gasoline for well over a month,” said AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster. “This has allowed oil prices to plummet to historical lows at times in April, and gas prices have slid to prices not seen in more than 11 years in the Lone Star State.”
Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Texas, drivers in Midland are paying the most on average at $1.76 while drivers in Sherman/Denison are paying the least at $1.17 per gallon.
The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $1.77, which is two cents less compared to this day last week and $1.11 less than the price per gallon at this same time last year.
Downward pressure on pump prices is likely to continue due decreased demand and high gasoline stock supplies, according to AAA. However, Texas could see minimal fluctuation at the pump in coming weeks if demand jumps as some businesses are given the green light to re-open, though, this will not have a large impact for most of the nation’s motorists.
Another factor market analysts are watching is the impact of the crude oil production cut agreement from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries earlier this month. OPEC+ producers agreed to reduce output by about 9.7 million barrels per day in May and June 2020.
Refinery utilization increased slightly to just under 75% in the Gulf Coast region last week, according to the Energy Information Administration. Typically, April sees regional refinery rates in the 90% range.
At the national level, refinery utilization sits at 70%. U.S. gasoline demand rose to 5.9 million barrels per day last week. That’s up from the nearly 5.3 million barrels per day the week prior but still an extremely low rate compared to last April’s 9.45 million barrels per day average.