Gas prices jumped a dime this week in the Texoma region, following what analysts say is summer-like demand even as winter temperatures move in.

Costs rose to an average $2.30 per gallon of unleaded fuel, according to the AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch released Thursday, Nov. 7. That’s up from $2.20 on the same day last week and is four cents higher than at the same time last year.

Statewide, prices averaged $2.28 per gallon, the travel agency indicated. The average rose three cents compared to last week, but it’s 17 cents less per gallon compared to the same day last year.

Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Texas, drivers in Midland are paying the most on average at $2.42 while drivers in Victoria are paying the least at $2.19 per gallon.

Prices across the state increased week-to-week, as demand for retail gasoline increased, according to an AAA Texas analysis. Gasoline demand numbers look more like summer than fall in the Energy Information Administration’s latest reports.

The good news for drivers, AAA Texas indicated, is that regional refinery utilization increased as well, bumping rates to 89%. Refinery maintenance appears to be slowing, according to the AAA Texas analysis, which will help to increase utilization this month and could keep prices from spiking.

“Demand for retail gasoline has increased in the last week causing prices to move upwards slightly,” said Daniel Armbruster, AAA Texas spokesperson. “Despite recent price fluctuations, Texans are still paying 17 cents less per gallon compared to one year ago as the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel period quickly approaches.”

Crude oil prices have increased in recent days after the market expressed relief following U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ announcement that the U.S. and China, the two largest oil-consuming countries in the world, are on track to complete phase one of their trade negotiations and a deal would likely be signed around mid-November.

If trade tensions continue to subside, crude prices may continue to increase, analysts said.

Prices were up to date at press time using market prices posted at 3:41 a.m. Thursday.

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