Austin-area gas prices jump slightly, remain unseasonably high

October 11, 2018 - 8:35 am

AUSTIN (KJCE) -- Gas prices across the Austin area remain unseasonably high, according to the latest numbers from AAA Texas.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded across the Austin-San Marcos metro is $2.65 this week. That's a one cent increase from last week, and is 28 cents higher than this time last year when the average sat at $2.37.

Statewide, the average price is $2.67, up two cents from last week and up 34 cents from a year ago.

Drivers in Midland are paying the most on average at $3.08, while drivers in McAllen are paying the least at $2.58 per gallon. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.91, which is the same price as this day last week and 43 cents more than the price per gallon at this same time last year.

The September switch-over to winter-blend gasoline ushered in cheaper gas prices compared to the summer, but that drop was short lived. Crude oil accounts for half of the retail pump price and crude is selling at some of the highest price points in four years. That means fall and year-end prices are likely going to be unseasonably expensive, according to market analysts. Crude oil has priced higher amid concerns of global crude supply and geopolitical tensions, including pending sanctions with Iran and Venezuela’s unstable economy.

"Rising crude oil prices caused by global supply concerns and geopolitical tensions are forcing pump prices up across many parts of the country including here in Texas," said Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas. "Fall gas prices have not been this expensive since 2014."

Market analysts believe that former Hurricane Michael, now downgraded to a tropical storm, has not affected critical Gulf Coast refineries or pipelines. However, there is concern that heavy rain and high winds may cause power outages to the Colonial Pipeline which could lead to delivery disruptions to local gas stations in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

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