Gas forecast: Another year of lower prices

GasBuddy.com projects $2.50 peak locally

SAN ANTONIO – Drivers should continue to see relief at the gas pump according to GasBuddy's outlook for 2016 fuel prices.

Analysts are forecasting a fourth year of declining prices, with a U.S. average of $2.28 a gallon. Historically, local prices tend to be about 20 cents cheaper.

Greg Gilmour almost made a drastic move for any Texan by selling his pickup when it became too expensive to drive.

"I remember it cost more than a $100 to fill it up," he said. "And, what is it here? $31.53."

San Antonio drivers are enjoying the lowest prices in seven years. 

Expect prices to creep up through spring because of the switch to summer blends and more demand as people hit the roads. However, GasBuddy's forecast indicates prices should peak about May at $2.50/gallon in the Houston area. San Antonio prices tend to mimic the Bayou City.

"As a consumer, that's really nice because we can do more traveling, and it's just a lot easier on the pocketbook," driver Joe Valdez said.

Diesel's average annual price nationally is projected to be $2.16, cheaper than gasoline for the first time in 12 years.

The glut of global-oil and the tanking price of a barrel is driving down the price at the pump.

Forecasting gas prices can be tricky.

"The only obstacles could be refinery maintenance, both planned and unplanned, adverse weather in the form of hurricanes and the inherent geopolitical factors that come with crude oil," Jeff Pelton, senior petroleum analyst said. "The good news is that when all these factors are weighed, gas prices should still enjoy lows on par with 2015."

San Antonio's average price Thursday was $1.70 a gallon.

About the Author: