Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - In case you haven’t been paying attention over the past week or so, the price of unleaded gas has taken a meteoric jump; from $3.99 to $4.09 to $4.19, even up to $4.29 per gallon at some stations.

KGVO News immediately reached out to Patrick DeHaan, petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com for details on why gas prices have increased so dramatically in such a short period of time.

DeHaan said the answer lies on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean to the Middle East and to Russia.

Here's Why Gas Prices are Rising so Dramatically

“Saudi Arabia extended for not just one month, but three months, its previous production cuts that caused the price of oil to go up,” began DeHaan. “It was a bit of a surprise. Russia is also going along with an export cut. Essentially, Russia is supplying less oil to the global market, and that has pushed the price of oil up to nearly $87 a barrel at this moment. Brent crude oil is now about $91 a barrel, so oil prices have been under pressure.”

DeHaan referenced the differing prices now being offered at Missoula area gas stations.

Just how High can Gas Prices go in Missoula?

Missoula prices at a couple stations still $3.99 a gallon but other stations are charging $4.09 even $4.19 a gallon at many stations,” he said. “The statewide average in Montana over the same timeframe has risen by about 12 cents a gallon in the last week. The current state average is now $4.12 a gallon. That's quite a bit above the national average which stands at $3.79.”

DeHaan said the price of diesel fuel continues at a high level.

“Diesel has been quite the opposite story,” he said. “Diesel prices have been under pressure. We are coming out of the peak of gasoline consumption season but that also means we're going into the peak of diesel season. That's simply because diesel is essentially the same product as heating oil. Heating oil is of course used in many areas of rural America to heat homes in the winter and cooler months. And so I do expect that diesel prices will also likely go up.”

DeHaan said Increasing gas Prices will Make Inflation Worse

DeHaan also said the increasing price of gasoline is fueling the rise of inflation around the nation and the world.

“We are now at about a 12 cent increase to what we're paying a year ago,” he said. “So CPI (Consumer Price Index) numbers for gasoline, not so great. However, last fall we saw a diesel price explosion with the price of diesel reaching close to $6.00 a gallon, so I don't think diesel is going to go positive to a year ago so diesel's impact on CPI should be limited whereas gasoline will start to contribute towards rising inflation again.”

DeHaan said to find the lowest price for gas in Missoula, click the Gas Buddy website.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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