AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Gas prices in Amarillo have fallen below the $3 mark as people begin traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to Gasbuddy.com on Monday, the average price of gasoline in Amarillo was $2.99 per gallon, down nearly 17¢ from last week.

“The price of oil has dropped. So for the first time in quite a while, we’re below $80 a barrel,” said Judy Stark, the president of the Panhandle Producers & Royalty Owners Association. “And earlier this year, we were well into 120. So the price of oil has consistently gone down for the last several months, which that contributes greatly to the price at the pump.”

Stark said while she does not think releases from the strategic petroleum reserve cut gas prices by much, they do improve the market, and supply has increased, providing some much-needed relief for consumers.

“Inflation is a terrible thing going on right now. That’s that’s just a tough thing to deal with,” said Stark. “I think that people are going to travel, no matter what it costs them.”

Stark said she does not expect an increase in gas prices in the near future, because the cost of oil and refining it is decreasing.

“We’re expecting a significant increase in oil production in 2023,” she said. “So that will make a difference. It’ll make gasoline cheaper.”

According to a release from Gasbuddy, their head of petroleum analysis Patrick De Haan said, “…It’s not impossible that if oil markets hold here, we could see a national average of $2.99 around Christmas, certainly the gift that every motorist is hoping for. Drivers shouldn’t be in a rush to fill up as prices will come down nearly coast-to-coast into the heavily traveled Thanksgiving holiday.”