Gasoline prices in Houston and across the country rose over a week in which crude oil settled about $40 a barrel for the first time in more than three months.
A gallon of gasoline in Houston average $1.81, up about a penny from the previous week, according to fuel-price tracking website GasBuddy.com Gasoline prices in the area have climbed 19 cents a gallon over the past month but remain 57 cents a gallon lower than a year ago.
Nationally, average gasoline prices rose 3 cents a gallon over the past week to $2.17. The national average has increased 20 cents gallon over the past month. It is 53 cents a gallon lower than a year ago.
COMEBACK: Oil crosses $40 a barrel
Gasoline prices have risen steadily in recent weeks as crude has rallied on signs that demand is growing as global producers cut output. Oil prices plummeted into negative territory in April as demand collapsed with shutdown of national economies in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but have since recovered.
Last Monday, oil settled above $40 a barrel for the first time since early March. Oil was trading just below $39 a barrel in New York at about 7:30 a.m. Central.
The recent surge in coronavirus cases in Texas and other states, however, could again erode demand. GasBuddy said the gasoline demand last week slipped for the first time since Memorial Day.
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“Motorists across the country will likely be influenced by what develops,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Improvement and a slowdown in COVID would cause gas prices to continue rising, while a continued resurgence in COVID-19 cases and a drop in gasoline demand will mean lower gas prices.”