Gas Watch: Texas pump prices cheapest in the nation, highest average since 2014

Gas pump

AUSTIN ( -- Texas drivers are paying the lowest on average for unleaded fuel across the country, but prices are also at their highest point in seven years according to AAA Texas' Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel across the Austin-San Marcos metro this week is $2.90. That's up four cents from last week, and $1.04 higher than a year ago.

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Across the state, drivers are paying an average of $2.93, up six cents from last week and $1.07 more than a year ago. El Paso continues to see the state's highest metro average at $3.15 a gallon, while drivers in Lubbock are paying the least at $2.85 a gallon - followed by San Antonio, Waco, Houston, and Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood.

Nationwide, the average is up six cents this week to $3.30 a gallon, which is $1.12 higher than this time last year. Only five states across the country have an average below the $3.00 mark this week.

The statewide average is at its highest point since October 19, 2014, when the average last reached $2.93 a gallon. Analysts say the key driver for recent rises at the pump can be traced to crude oil prices, which typically account for between 50% and 60% of the price drivers pay at the pump.

Analysts also point to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its oil-producing allies recently decided to not increase production further, which has only exacerbated the upward momentum for crude oil prices.

"Texans are paying the most for retail gasoline since 2014," said AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster. "With more people traveling and returning to the office, demand for fuel is on the rise. Factor in surging crude oil prices due to OPEC+ forgoing further production increases and we’re seeing a trend that we’re not used to seeing in October."