When could we see record gas prices? Expert says it's a week or two away

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Gas prices across the country are on the rise, and a longtime executive from the oil and gas industry expects things to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

"I think (high gas prices) will be here for a while," said Bob Cavnar, who has been in the industry for three decades. "Unless, by some miracle, the Ukrainian problem is solved."

According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline currently sits at $3.76 in the Houston area, which is lower than the national average of $4.07 a gallon.

The overall average in Texas is $3.73 a gallon.

RELATED: Gas prices have risen a quarter in a week: Here's how high they could go, and for how long

"This most recent increase is based on the crisis in Ukraine," said Cavnar. "We were already seeing increases in price because the economy is recovering from the pandemic, and demand is also up."

Since Feb. 7, the price of regular gas in Houston has gone up 71 cents per gallon.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

"It's a multiplier," said Cavnar on the impact Russia's invasion has had on our gas prices.

The highest gas prices we've ever seen came on July 17, 2008. On that day, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas was $4.11, $3.99 in Texas, and $3.96 in the Houston region. Cavnar expects us to be there soon.

RELATED: CenterPoint says it isn't making profit in spike in gas prices, but customers don't believe that

"You could see that in the next week or two," Cavnar said. "We're (going to) see that pretty quickly."

Cavnar also says cyberattacks should be something Texans think about as they worry about high gas prices.

"I'm concerned about cyber security," Cavnar explained. "Texas is very susceptible to a power-system hacking because we're not tied to the national grid."

What should Texans do to prepare for rising prices, whether there is a result of cyber issues or not?

Cavnar urges Houstonians to prepare as if there is a hurricane in the Gulf.

RELATED: Gas prices have reached an all time high at $4 a gallon, according to new report

"Have batteries, and non-perishable foods tucked away," he said. "Don't panic buy gasoline, but I'd keep it on the top half of the tank all the time."

His other advice is to limit the amount of time you spend on the road.

"People need to stop burning as much gasoline," he said. "This problem is not going away anytime soon."

Follow Chaz Miller on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.