AAA announced that the national average US price for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped six cents since last Monday to $3.99. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, oil prices spiked leading to an all-time US high of $5.02, with some states like Hawaii, Nevada and Alaska reaching prices over $5.50, and Californian drivers paying over $6 per gallon.
New data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that even though gas demand increased from 8.54 million barrels per day (b/d) to 9.12 million b/d last week, the rate is 307,000 b/d lower than last year. The EIA stated, moreover, that domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 5 million barrels (bbl) to 220.3 million bbl.
It’s possible that this dip in demand was caused by the spike in the oil price itself. According to the CBS, gasoline demand decreased 3.3% in early August compared to the same week last year. Ellen Wald, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said (via CBS), “We have seen some of what we call ‘demand destruction’ — people choosing not to buy gasoline because it’s so expensive. (Also), fears we could be entering a global recession could be driving prices down.”
According to the AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch, prices have dropped 15 cents since last week, but the national average hasn’t yet recovered. Prices are still over 60 cents per gallon more than last year. In 2021, the nationwide average price was close to $3.20 a gallon, while in Texas, prices were closer to $2.80.
“Retail gasoline prices in Texas fell for the eighth consecutive week,” said AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster in a statement. “While gas prices will likely keep dropping in the near term, it is unclear how long the trend will last. Demand for fuel jumped seven percent across the U.S. this week and regional fuel supplies fell by around three percent.”
Meanwhile Texans, still enjoy the lowest gas price on average in the country — even if they’re still high!