The surge in gasoline prices in Houston and across the country paused last week in a sign that the seasonal increases will soon taper off.
The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded in the Houston area remained unchanged at $2.55, while the national average decreased about a cent to $2.80 a gallon, according to GasBuddy, which tracks fuel prices nationwide.
In Houston, gasoline costs nearly 35 cents more than it did at this time last year. Nationally, prices have increased by about 47 cents during the same period.
Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, anticipates steadier prices at the pump now that refiners have completed the transition to more expensive fuel blends that help reduce emissions during the busy summer driving season.
“With summer gasoline now phased in and reaching motorists gas tanks across the country, it is no longer an active issue pushing prices up,” he said.
But he warned that if the Trump administration chooses to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, it could lead to sanctions that would drive up the price of oil.