Gas Watch: Pump prices in freefall as coronavirus hits economy

Talk 1370 Newsroom
April 03, 2020 - 8:20 am

AUSTIN ( -- Gas prices are at the lowest they've been since 2016, according to the latest numbers from AAA Texas.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel in the Austin area is $1.70 this week, down nine cents from last week and 73 cents from a year ago. Across Texas, the statewide average is also $1.70, which is 10 cents cheaper than a week ago and 78 cents less than a year ago. The nationwide average is also down 10 cents this week to $1.97.

Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Texas, drivers in Midland are paying the most on average at $1.94 while drivers in Sherman/Denison are paying the least at $1.32 per gallon. All Texas cities surveyed by AAA now have regular unleaded price averages below $2 per gallon.

AAA's Daniel Armbruster says gas prices will continue to push cheaper into April. "Until crude oil prices and gasoline demand increase, cheaper gas prices are likely here for the foreseeable future," Armbruster said. 

The crude oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia has sent crude oil prices plummeting to around $20 a barrel – a closing price not seen since 2002. For the last 52 weeks, crude oil (West Texas Intermediate) has averaged $56/barrel.

COVID-19 is not impacting the U.S. gasoline supply. The U.S. has an unusual amount of winter-blend gasoline still available for this time of year. This caused the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to extend the sale of winter-blend past the May 1 deadline to May 20. The agency said they would continue to monitor and may extend the waiver again.

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