Most years, the arrival of the summer driving season means gas prices begin to climb, but this year that trend has been turned on its side — with the average price at the pump statewide again falling this week, down 4 cents a gallon to $2.37.
That price is 32 cents less per gallon than during this time last year. Nationally, the average price per gallon of regular unleaded also dropped 4 cents on the week, to $2.67 a gallon — 20 cents less than in 2018.
Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Texas, drivers in Midland are paying the most on average at $2.60, while drivers in McAllen are paying the least at $2.17 per gallon.
Closer to home, the price drop across the Dallas-Fort Worth region was more pronounced than statewide, with the average price per gallon falling 6 cents in Dallas, to $2.36, while the price in Fort Worth-Arlington fell 7 cents to $2.34.
In Denton, GasBuddy.com on Thursday listed the lowest available price as $2.18, found at Buc-ee’s on Interstate 35E and Sam’s Club on University Drive.
The statewide gas price average has followed a consistent downward trend since mid-April, which is unusual for this time of year, AAA reported. Pump prices usually trickle higher during the summer months due to increased demand. However, the latest Energy Information Administration report reveals that total domestic gasoline inventories jumped a million barrels last week, helping to push pump prices lower. Strong production output and increased imports have helped gasoline storage levels grow consistently over the past weeks.
“Drivers are saving at the gas pump during the busiest time of year for travel,” Daniel Armbruster, AAA Texas spokesman, said in a news release. “The average Texas family will save more than $4 per tank, compared to this time last year.”
As regional gasoline inventories continue to build, prices have continued falling across the South and Southeast, AAA reported. However, crude prices increased late last week as a result of an attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman. This attack heightened market fears that rising tensions could continue in the Middle East and negatively impact crude oil availability.