Statewide gas price average increases one cent

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Texas is one cent more than the average last week, according to the AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch.  The current statewide average is $3.23.The national average is $3.38, showing no change since last week.  The statewide average price is 15 cents less than the national average.  The most expensive gasoline averages in the state are in Dallas and Ft. Worth at $3.28.  El Paso is reporting the least expensive average in the state at $3.04 for a gallon of regular unleaded.  Texans are paying an average of $45 for a typical 14-gallon fill up.Market oil prices continue to increase due to ongoing tensions between Iran and both the U.S. and Europe, with Iran scheduling naval exercises for late January at the Strait of Hormuz.  Also contributing to global supply uncertainty is the threat of labor strikes in Nigeria, the largest oil producing country in Africa.   While oil prices continue to rise, U.S. demand continues to decrease.  According to the Oil Price Information Service, a number of factors are impacting domestic demand for oil and gas.  In January consumers tend to travel less as they are anticipating incoming bills related to holiday spending, motorists are driving more fuel efficient vehicles than in years past, and consumers are combining trips.   Additionally, analysts say consumers are more conscientious of their spending on fuel as 2011 was a record year where American families spent $481-billion, or about eight percent of the household income, to fill up family vehicles. “Texas gas prices increased again this week, but the pace has slowed," said AAA Texas/New Mexico Public Affairs Representative Sarah Schimmer.  “Several global economic and geopolitical factors are impacting market oil prices and Texans are seeing that reflected in retail prices at the pump.”To maximize fuel efficiency as well as extend the life of your car, AAA recommends motorists have their vehicle serviced regularly based on the manufacturer’s recommended schedule and identify a quality repair shop. Motorists can either look for the AAA Approved Auto Repair sign at local auto repair facilities, or search for a nearby AAA Approved shop online at: