Gas prices continue to increase across the U.S. and prices in Missoula are starting to catch up to the national average, which stands at about $2.09 per gallon.  Patrick DeHaan is the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy and he said Missoula prices went up 14 cents per gallon in the past week.

“Avergae prices just hit that $2.00 per gallon mark for the first time in about three months,” DeHaan said. “Statewide, the average is up 12 cents per gallon in the last week and it also stands at about $2.00 per gallon. As gasoline demand continues to recover in recent weeks, I think that the upward trend of gas prices is likely to continue.”

DeHaan said the price of oil is down today, but he said $36 per barrel is still quite a bit higher than where we were a month ago when oil prices were less than half of that.

“Thanks to the broad recovery in the price of oil due to increasing demand for gasoline, that has pushed gas prices higher and barring a second wave, I think it is likely that gas prices may continue to rise over the weeks ahead,” DeHaan said. “Like I said though, the big wild card is that if we do see a second wave of COVID-19 cases, then we may see prices eventually go back down.”

DeHaan said gasoline demand would plummet again if states start to reissue shelter in place orders.