Prices at the pump skyrocketed this week following last weekend’s attacks on Saudi oil facilities, with the statewide average price for a gallon of regular unleaded jumping 12 cents to $2.39 a gallon, AAA reported Thursday.
That price is still 21 cents lower than during this time last year, while the U.S. average price increased 10 cents on the week to $2.67 — 27 cents less than in 2018.
Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Texas, drivers in El Paso are paying the most on average at $2.76, while drivers in Tyler and Wichita Falls are paying the least at $2.28 per gallon.
Closer to home, prices across the Dallas-Fort Worth region soared along with the rest of the state, with the average price in Dallas jumping 15 cents to $2.45 a gallon and the average price in Fort Worth-Arlington increasing 13 cents to $2.43 per gallon.
In Denton, GasBuddy.com on Thursday listed the lowest available price as $2.31, found at the Sam’s Club station off West University Drive. That price is 21 cents higher than the lowest-available price last week.
Motorists across Texas and the country are seeing pump prices spike due to the loss of crude oil production in Saudi Arabia, AAA reported. Drone attacks on two major oil facilities — including the world’s largest, Abqaiq — have taken 5.7 million (crude) barrels per day off the market, accounting for about 6% of the global supply.
As markets adjust to the loss of crude from the Saudi Arabian facilities, the exact impact on gas prices will depend largely on the extent of the damage at the facilities and how long it takes for the facilities to resume normal operations. Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said this week that half of the oil production that was lost has been restored and that normal production would resume by the end of September. If this proves true, any price spikes being realized now will be short-term, AAA noted.
Following the attack, crude oil prices spiked by as much as $8 per barrel but are fluctuating, and West Texas Intermediate is now trading about $4 higher per barrel than on this day one week ago, AAA reported.
U.S. dependence on Saudi Arabian crude imports has decreased in the past decade. Meanwhile, Texas drivers are seeing weekly spikes by as much as 39 cents per gallon in El Paso and as low as 4 cents in Odessa. For now, all Texas metro areas have gas price averages below the average on this day one year ago, with the exception of El Paso, AAA reported.