Gas Watch: Austin metro prices jump this week, more than double the statewide increase

Fuel pump
Photo credit Getty Images / IPGGutenbergUKLtd

AUSTIN ( -- Austin area drivers are seeing a jump in the price at the pump this week, according to AAA Texas' Weekend Gas Watch.

Drivers in the Austin-San Marcos metro are paying an average of $3.50 a gallon for regular unleaded this week, up 12 cents from last week and 33 cents more than this time last year.

The increase is more muted across the state, where drivers are paying an average of $3.42 this week. That's an increase of five cents on the week, and 25 cents year over year.

Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Texas, drivers in El Paso are paying the most on average at $3.83 per gallon while drivers in the Sherman/Denison area are paying the least at $3.33 per gallon.

Nationwide, the average sits at $3.86 a gallon, which is up six cents on the week.

Despite the end of summer driving season and higher fuel costs, fuel demand remains strong. Coupled with rising crude oil prices, this is pushing fuel price averages upward. Crude oil prices are up by nearly two dollars per barrel compared to last week, maintaining a mostly steady ascent since June's outset.

Given that crude oil comprises approximately 50 to 60 percent of each gallon's cost, these elevated crude prices could hinder the typical September drop in gas prices.

"Although September usually sees gas prices decrease due to reduced demand, pump price fluctuations persist throughout the Lone Star State. Despite higher September prices, fuel demand remains strong,” said Daniel Armbruster, AAA Texas spokesperson. “The continuous rise in crude oil prices, the primary gasoline ingredient, is likely preventing the usual September decline in retail fuel prices."

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images / IPGGutenbergUKLtd