HOUSTON - Gas prices have hit a record high. AAA says a gallon of regular has hit a national average of $4.39, and $3.96 in Texas.
Oil industry experts expect your pain at the pump to last for a while.
Even though President Biden released oil reserves to help reduce the cost of gas, analysts say the ban on Russian oil is creating a shortage that's still driving up prices.
"The market is reacting, on the one hand, to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and seeking alternative supplies. On the other hand, it reacts to the COVID lockdown we’re seeing in China that is reducing demand. So from one day to the next, oil prices have been hugely volatile and that is translated into volatility in the gasoline market," explained Andy Lipow with Lipow Oil Associates.
Analysts predict prices will continue to rise over the next couple of weeks and stay high for a couple of years.
"I expect the retail price of gasoline is going to increase between $0.18 and $0.20 a gallon over the next couple of weeks, reflecting the higher prices in the futures market," predicts Lipow.
"I think we’re in for a period of several years of higher energy prices even if the war in Ukraine ended tomorrow. It’s unlikely that sanctions would be lifted against Russia for quite some time and that would keep oil supplies off the market," said Lipow.
Since high prices are expected long term, experts suggest drivers can try to save money by looking at ways to consolidate trips, plan routes, and slow down to reduce fuel consumption.
The Department of Energy says reducing speed five to 10 miles per hour can improve fuel economy by 7% to 14%.
Several apps can help drivers find gas stations with lower prices and offer discounts:
AAA TripTik Travel Planner
And some credit cards and gas credit cards offer rewards for gas purchases:
Shell Fuel Rewards
Grocery stores with loyalty programs, such as Kroger, and retail membership programs, such as Costco, BJ's Wholesale, Sam's Club, and Walmart+ also offer gas discounts.