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Gas prices fell slightly in the past week. Here's what that means for the Coastal Bend.

While the average price in Texas is $2.63 a gallon, the price of a gallon of gas in Corpus Christi ranges from $2.45 to $3.29.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Average gas prices fell slightly in the past week but were up about 20 cents over a month ago.

Patrick Dehaan is head of petroleum analysis at Gas Buddy, a gasoline price monitoring service.

"Last year in Corpus Christi, the average was a $1.78," Dehaan said. "Today, we're almost 80 cents above that at about $2.59 a gallon."

While the average price in Texas is $2.63 a gallon, the price of a gallon of gas in Corpus Christi ranges from $2.45 to $3.29. These prices represent an average increase of 20 cents a gallon over last month and over 80 cents a gallon from a year ago.

Dehaan said the price increase is a positive sign for gas demand and the economy.

"This is a sign that indeed gasoline demand has picked up but oil production has not," he said.

Brent Hopkins is the chairman of the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association and the CEO of Suemaur Exploration & Production in Corpus Christi. He said he is still waiting for some stability in the price of crude oil and at today's price of just over $61 a barrel, we're off to a positive start.

"$50-$70 oil, we can start to build a health industry again," Hopkins said.

Hopkins said the increasing price of gasoline means oil companies are finally starting to sell off high inventories, but several things have impacted the industry in the past year besides the pandemic.

"There's a supply and demand issue and right now there's been a lot of gasoline demand and not very much supply because of things like the freeze that cut down our refining capacity so that balance has changed a little," Hopkins said.

He added that the ongoing oil supply war with Saudi Arabia is also keeping oil prices from rising substantially. But still, the rising price of a gallon of gas is a good sign.

"I would expect that demand would continue to grow this spring and summer, especially given that Americans now have stimulus checks and especially the fact that a lot of foreign destinations are still closed off because of the pandemic," Dehaan said. 

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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