Midwest Freeze Helps Drive Down San Antonio Gas Prices

San Antonio gas prices have turned around after two weeks of increases and have begun to fall, due largely to low demand for gas at this time of the year, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

AAA Texas says we are paying an average of $1.94 at the pump today, compared with $1.96 last week.

One thing that is pushing down gasoline demand is the big freeze in the upper midwest, which has brought driving and industrial activity to a halt.

“While rising oil prices have caused mild increases at the pump recently, colder than normal weather in many parts of the U.S. is leading to a drop in demand for retail gasoline and forcing pump prices to drop slightly this week,” said Daniel Armbruster, AAA Texas/AAA New Mexico spokesperson. “Texas drivers are paying 39 cents less for a gallon of gas today compared to this time last year.”

The fall in gas prices is despite a rise in crude oil prices, which is driven by the chaos in Venezuela, and the U.S. sanctions against imports of Venezuelan oil Although Venezuela's oil production has fallen off sharply in the past year, Venezuela still produces the type of heavier crudes which are better suited for many U.S. refineries. The shale oil gushing out of the Eagle Ford and the Permian Basin is lighter crude. Most older U.S. refineries are set up to handle heavier crude because that's the type imported from Saudi Arabia back in the day when the Saudis dominated the U.S. oil market.

Experts say as soon as the deep freeze ends and it back to work in the Midwest, we should start to see our gas prices turn back upward, as driving ramps up heading into Spring Break.

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