Increasing demand and limited supply are causing gas prices to increase yet again, according to Patrick DeHaan, Petroleum Analyst from Gas Buddy.

DeHaan provided details on the gas prices here in western Montana.

“Oil prices have gone up significantly from last November,” said DeHaan. “Gas prices have followed and a lot of it is because America is rebounding from the depths of the coronavirus pandemic. “The average price in Missoula is about $2.60 per gallon, and that's up nine cents from the last week. It’s also about 30 cents higher than what we were paying last year.”

DeHaan said prices will continue to rise as spring turns into summer.

“Prices are likely to continue drifting higher as America continues to recover from COVID,” he said. “Gasoline demand is now just shy of where it was pre pandemic, and that's part of the reason why prices have rebounded so strongly.”

DeHaan said prices have not risen in Montana as dramatically as they have in other western states.

“In Montana, we’re a little bit lower on the list in terms of the total impact over the last month,” he said. “In fact, gas prices in Montana have only gone up by about 27 cents a gallon. That's actually good for the 44th rank, so it’s amongst the smaller increases versus a month ago, but I do expect that things will start to catch up, so be ready for prices likely to continue going up.”

DeHaan explains why Montanans will continue to see a rise in gas prices through the spring and summer.

“The problem that is transpiring to push prices up is the fact that demand is up but supply has not followed yet,” he said. “OPEC the week before last decided to extend production cuts, and that's part of the reason why prices have rallied so much. The economy is recovering, so gasoline demand is up, but oil production is not.”

DeHaan said for the tenth straight week, the national average price of gasoline has continued to trend higher.


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