Gas prices are up a nickel in the Texoma region and may fluctuate somewhat as Thanksgiving gets closer, AAA Texas announced Thursday, Nov. 21, in its Weekend Gas Watch.
The average price of a gallon of unleaded fuel rose to $2.28 in the Sherman-Denison metro area this week, up from $2.23 last Thursday, the travel agency announced. That puts it 20 cents higher than the $2.08 average at this time last year, according to data provided by AAA Texas.
The statewide gas price average in Texas is $2.26 per gallon, the same as last Thursday and four cents less per gallon compared to the same day last year.
Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Texas, drivers in Midland were paying the most on average at $2.41 while drivers in Tyler and Victoria were paying the least at $2.16 per gallon.
An increase in gasoline stocks amid rising demand helped to keep prices in most Texas cities from increasing week-to-week, according to an AAA analysis. However, AAA forecasts that 3.8 million Texans, the most since 2005, will drive 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving.
With an increase in automobile travel volume, demand for retail gasoline will likely rise and that could cause pump prices to fluctuate through the remainder of the month, the travel agency indicated.
“AAA anticipates the second-highest automobile travel volume on record for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday period, which will likely cause demand for retail gasoline to increase,” Daniel Armbruster, AAA Texas spokesperson, said in a press release. “If demand continues to rise, price fluctuations are possible through the end of November.”
Regional refinery utilization jumped to 89.7% according to the Energy Information Administration’s latest data. That’s the highest rate for any region in the country. With the increase in utilization, gasoline stocks increased to 78.5 million. This combination helped to stave off price increases for many Texas cities this week, the AAA analysis indicated.
Prices were up to date at press time using market prices posted at 3:41 a.m. Thursday.