CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — Gas prices were projected to hit a record Thanksgiving high of $3.68 this year, and while prices did break the previous record of $3.44 in 2012, according to GasBuddy, they weren’t quite as high as they were expected to be.

According to AAA, national gas prices averaged $3.58 on Thursday, with West Virginia prices averaging just below at $3.51. Prices are averaging a dollar more per gallon than in 2019, AAA said.

So what caused prices to fall instead of hitting the projected $3.68 per gallon? Demand for gas has dropped to 8.74 million barrels per day. One year ago, when gas prices averaged $3.39 per gallon, demand for gas was actually higher at 9.33 million barrels per day, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

The supply of gas has also gone up in recent weeks, with total domestic gasoline stocks rising by 2.2 million bbl to 207.9 million bbl.

This comes after President Joe Biden announced last month that he would release 15 million barrels of oil or more from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. According to EIA data, there were 390.52 million barrels of oil in the emergency stockpile as of its latest update. The stockpile has not been that low since March of 1984.

Historical data about the amount of oil in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Credit: EIA.