Gas prices in Houston hit unexpected decline

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - For drivers in some parts of town, a holiday gift has arrived in October. Gas prices have fallen to less than $3 a gallon in many areas in and around Houston. 

"I am too excited," said customer Renee Brown as she gassed up her truck at the Kroger at 290 and Spring Cypress. "Look! I have 10 gallons under $30. I haven't seen that in I don't know when."

"I'm just grateful when a total fill-up for me is under $50," said customer Amy Foster, while she waited in line to fill up.  "I'm happy if it's that way. I've gotten used to it being high."

Last year at this same time gas in Houston cost an average of $3.52 a gallon. Last month it was $3.34. Today, the average is $3.07, but Local 2 found prices much lower than that.

At the Chevron at Highway 6 and 290, it's $2.98 a gallon. It's $2.81 at the HEB at 290 and Mason; and $2.78 at the HEB at 290 and Barker Cypress and the Kroger at 290 & Spring Cypress. That's where we found cars stacked up. Consumers were happy to wait for the good deal.

"This is amazing," said customer Oliver Galloway. "I've been waiting in line about 15 minutes. Couple cars before me."

Just one month ago, AAA analysts predicted we would never see prices dip below $3 a gallon again.

"We never know where gas prices are going to go because there are so many variables that go into determining the price of oil per barrel," explained AAA Texas' Sarah Schimmer.

Schimmer said prices have dipped lower now because refineries have switched from the summer blend of gas that is more expensive to produce. They're now selling the cheaper winter blend. Schimmer also said we've also got healthy reserves in the U.S. right now.

"The oil and gas market is always a roller coaster," she said.

It's a ride Renee Brown is enjoying while it lasts.

"I think it was 2.83, I think it was last Thursday... and I didn't stop and get it," said Brown.  "So when I saw the 2.78, I thought 'Oh my God,' 2.78!"

Schimmer said the next uptick will likely come around Thanksgiving when travel picks up again for the holidays.

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