Fuel prices hold steady with struggling oil prices

Prices at the pump remain flat after a two-week stint of falling oil prices that kept fuel prices from rising.

The Houston-area average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline still rose nearly half a cent in the last week up to $2.08, while the national average remains at $2.29, according to GasBuddy, which tracks fuel prices and refining activity.

Fuel prices typically rise in March as a busier driving season begins and refineries switch to churning out more expensive summer-grade gasoline. However, oil prices have fallen most of the past two weeks because of global oversupplies, depressing the anticipated hike in gasoline costs.

“While the drop at the pump is most welcome, we’re nearly guaranteed to see prices rebound well in time for Memorial Day and the start of the summer driving season,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “For now, there’s a major tug of war going on with oil prices — a move higher or lower in the week ahead could determine the direction of prices the next few weeks or longer.”

Gasoline prices are nearly 30 cents higher per gallon than a year ago, but almost 15 cents lower than this time in 2015. Fuel prices were well over $3 a gallon in the few years prior to 2015 when oil prices hovered near $100 a barrel.