SAN ANTONIO – Peggy Jefferson may be 6,000 miles away from Ukraine, but she’s feeling the ripple effects at the gas pump.
“I got three (gallons) for $10 and something,” she said.
San Antonio gas prices on Friday averaged $3.14 a gallon, the highest in seven and a half years. Prices rose an average eight cents in the past week, but prices spiked at some stations as soon as Russia invaded Ukraine.
“Since yesterday, this here went up 20 cents,” said Ronnie Pullin. “It’s crazy.”
What it is is a global market.
“Unfortunately, we are kind of tied at the hip to the global market, and anything that can affect any oil-producing country overseas can affect us here at home,” said Patrick DeHaan, chief analyst for GasBuddy.com.
Russia is the world’s second largest producer of crude.
Oil briefly spiked Thursday to more than $100 per barrel, but by Friday, it has slipped a bit.
With uncertainty about what will happen with Russia and Ukraine, DeHaan says we can expect volatility in the market.
“The concern is that Russia could somehow slow down oil exports if they wanted to inflict a lot of damage to the U.S. economy and the global economy,” he said.
Even without Russia, prices at the pump are poised to climb just as they do every spring with the switch to cleaner, costlier blends and refineries undergoing maintenance. It’s also when demand for gas surges as people enjoy the warm weather months.
For people like Duane Washington, it’s all too much.
“The food and gas is starting to make a difference,” he said. “I’m going to have to make some decisions. Let’s hope it doesn’t go over four bucks.”
While DeHaan does anticipate the national average will flirt with the $4 mark, he does not think Texas will get that expensive.
Drivers may not be able to control the price of gas, but they do have some control over their costs. To save on gas, shop around. Apps like GasBuddy, AAA, and Waze can help drivers locate the lowest prices.
Avoiding speeding and jack-rabbit starts can conserve fuel. And, it’s wise to check tire pressure especially after cold temperatures. Low tires create drag and waste fuel.