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Gas prices hold steady this week, AAA says

February 14, 2019 - 8:59 am

AUSTIN (KJCE) -- Gas prices held steady this week, according to the latest numbers from AAA Texas.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline across the Austin-San Marcos metro area remained at $1.97 this week, which is 34 cents cheaper than this time a year ago. The statewide and national averages held steady as well, at $1.98 and $2.28 respectively.

There was some fluctuation in metro areas across the state this week. Drivers in Brownsville saw a 10 cent jump to $1.99 a gallon. Across the state, drivers in Midland are paying the most on average at $2.40 while drivers in San Antonio are paying the least at $1.92 per gallon.

Frigid temperatures across much of the country have contributed toward a half a million barrel per day drop in demand to measure at 9 million barrels – a level consistent with a year ago, according to the Energy Information Administration. At the same time, gasoline stocks saw a nominal 513,000 barrel increase for a total of nearly 258,000 barrels. While demand is mostly flat year-over-year, total stocks sit at a 124 million barrel surplus.

"Since the start of the year, crude oil remains relatively inexpensive, moving between $51- $55 per barrel," said Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas. "This, coupled with fluctuating gasoline stocks due to planned and unplanned maintenance at refineries as well as instability in demand, likely due to frigid temperatures, are all contributing toward stable retail gas prices across the country."

Refinery maintenance and exports are impacting gas prices in the south and southeast region. According to EIA data, exports jumped by nearly 300,000 barrels per day to 895,000 barrels per day, contributing towards regional stocks dipping by 1.8 million for the week ending February 1. At the beginning of the year, stocks sat at 89.3 million barrels. With the latest draw, the region’s total stocks sit at 84.8 million barrels. This is the third straight week of stock declines as utilization holds relatively stable at 90 percent.

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