Gas Watch: Rising crude prices push up prices at the pump

Gas pump

AUSTIN ( -- Rising crude oil prices are helping to push up prices at area gas pumps, according to the latest AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel across the Austin-San Marcos metro area is $2.70 this week, up four cents from last week. The average is 93 cents higher than a year ago.

Across the state, drivers are paying an average of $2.75 a gallon, also up four cents from last week and 98 cents from a year ago, when drivers were paying an average of $1.77 per gallon.

Drivers in El Paso are paying the most in the state on average at $3.12, while drivers in Amarillo are paying the least at $2.64 per gallon.

Analysts say that pump price fluctuations will likely continue through the summer. On top of tracking gasoline supply and demand data, AAA Texas is tracking two additional factors: crude oil prices and global supply. Crude prices increased, with West Texas Intermediate sitting at $70 per barrel, the highest since October 2018.

Since crude accounts for more than 50% of the price at the pump, when it goes up, so does the price motorists pay for fuel. Analysts say that there may be some hope for drivers who want to see lower fuel costs at the pump, that an increase in production by OPEC+ and its allies could lead to a decrease in crude oil prices in July.

“Gas prices are expected to fluctuate over the next few weeks,” said AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster. “Higher crude oil prices will likely prop fuel prices up over the next several days.”