Dramatic Gas Price Reduction Could Continue Through Christmas
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - In case you haven’t noticed, the price of regular unleaded gas has been falling dramatically over the past few weeks, and those reductions could continue through the holidays into the new year.
KGVO News spoke to Gas Buddy Analyst Patrick DeHaan early Monday morning for details on the falling gas prices.
It's no Surprise, Gas Prices are Dropping Fast
“Prices have plummeted for oil and we're seeing oil prices as low as they've been since February last,” began DeHaan. “A check here a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil is holding just under $80 at 79 and a half dollars a barrel that's allowed gas prices to plummet across the country, really.”
DeHaan provided more specifics about the dramatic price reductions in regular unleaded gas.
Petroleum Expert provides Details of Falling Gas Prices
“Really, coast to coast the national average is down about 12 cents a gallon in the last week in Montana, with another 12 cent decline in the last week, the statewide average now $3.7, though depending on where you are, you certainly can find it for less,” he said. “We’re Seeing in Great Falls a station at $3.50 per gallon. The price in Missoula is about $3.59 to $3.65, but the good news is that the decline will continue across most stations over the next couple of weeks. In fact, prices could fall another 25 to 50 cents a gallon by Christmas.”
Here's Why Gas Prices are Dropping so Fast
DeHaan explained why the prices have dropped so precipitously.
“A lot of it is still economic concerns, not so much in the U.S., but abroad,” he said. “COVID resurging in China is causing lockdowns there, and refineries that have largely finished up seasonal maintenance that's allowed production to start rising, so we've seen a multitude of issues just like we have for much of the rest of the year that caused prices to go up, but now are causing prices to go the other way for the time being.”
DeHaan then addressed the price of diesel fuel.
“The price of diesel remains the tough spot,” he said. “The average price for diesel is still over $5.00 a gallon across much of the state. There should be some relief when it comes to the price of diesel but probably not as much as what we're going to see for gasoline but still some good news there. Gasoline and diesel are very different. Gasoline has seen its peak consumption in the summer when Americans are hitting the road with their gasoline-powered vehicles. Diesel peak consumption is in winter, thanks to the fact that diesel and heating oil are essentially the same thing, so heating oil in the winter as temperatures cool sees an increase in demand that pushes prices for diesel higher in the winter but lower in the summer.”
DeHaan said the price of regular unleaded in Missoula is usually lowest at Costco.