Gas prices could hit a 12-year low this summer. That’s as much as 40 cents lower than analysts thought they’d be in some parts of the country.
In Austin, gas prices have fallen about 3 cents a gallon on average – just in the last week. It’s not just that prices are low; it’s that they’re low at a time of year when they’re usually high: right at the start of the summer driving season.
“We stand here today and average gas prices are actually cheaper than where they started the year,” said Patrick DeHaan, an analyst with GasBuddy.com. “That is among the first times that I’ve ever seen gas prices lower in the summer than where they were at the start of the year.”
He said U.S. oil production, a lot of it in Texas, is to thank. That’s because the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, has been cutting oil production to try to drive prices up.
“U.S. production has increased to offset those cuts, and that’s what’s keeping the price of oil relatively low,” DeHaan said.
U.S. production is expected to keep rising into next year, which could mean relatively low prices are here to stay for a while, too – unless, of course, there’s disruption to global oil supply.