TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Traveling across the great state of Texas can take you through several different terrains, but you can also come across varying gas prices.
Compared to most of the United States, Texas has low gas prices. The state’s average is currently around $2.80, while the average gas price in the entire U.S. sits at $3.29.
But within Texas, there are still noticeable differences in the amount of money people will spend at the pump.
Average gas prices across Texas as of March 1 are:
- Tyler – $2.98
- Dallas – $2.77
- Houston – $2.83
- Austin – $2.95
- San Antonio – $2.81
- Abilene – $2.78
- Midland – $3.02
- Lubbock – $3.01
- Amarillo – $2.85
- El Paso – $3.14
Hutchinson County, in the panhandle, has an average price of $3.58. What causes such a variation in gas prices across the state?
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration and other industry experts, there are a few key factors that can impact fluctuations in gas prices and variations between different gas stations, ranging from how the gas is made to who’s writing the price tag.
Distance from supplier
A higher distance from the fuel supplier to the retail gas stations will usually mean higher gas prices, since transportation costs increase, according to the EIA. Experts say supply sources include refineries, ports, pipelines and blending terminals.
Events affecting the speed of gas production
Another factor that increases prices are events that affect the speed of gasoline production. This could result in increased bidding for available supplies. Refinery maintenance and shutdowns due to natural disasters can cause more pain at the pump.
Proximity to competitors
Areas with fewer gas stations will tend to have higher prices in comparison to the more populated areas with more options for consumers. Variations in prices with stations that are near others could be attributed to traffic patterns, rent and supply sources.
Global issues impact on local gas prices
Pipeline disruptions, refinery maintenance or shutdowns, crude oil supply and prices can be influenced by any number of factors, ranging from weather events to the global impacts of situations like the COVID-19 pandemic or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In turn, those supply chain “links” can cause gas prices to fluctuate.
While the supply chain is often viewed from the perspective of gas prices increasing, recent downward trends in the costs of crude oil and the state of the U.S. dollar, as noted in recent Reuters’ reports, as well as other factors may be contributing to decreasing prices.
For details on gas prices in your area, visit GasBuddy here.