For a time, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas was $3.99 across Missoula, however the price has increased to $4.09 per gallon in just the past few days.

KGVO reached out to Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan with the website Gas Buddy for details on gas prices here in Missoula, as well as across the state and the country.

“Well for now prices have inched up statewide in the last week the average about $4.09 in Montana that's up from $4.04 a week ago,” said DeHaan. “In Missoula, there are still some stations that have fuel under $4.00 a gallon, about seven stations at Gas Buddy showing that have under $4.00 prices in Missoula, but everyone else looks like $4.06 to $4.09 at some of the other stations.”

DeHaan said despite the continuing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the price of oil has remained fairly stable recently.

“Like today, oil prices are down about $1.00 a barrel,” he said. “We’re at $103 a barrel. Earlier last week they were all the way up to $115 and after being as low as $94, so if anything the extreme volatility in oil has continued. This week it looks like we're going to see oil prices having fallen but they could go right back up down the road.”

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DeHaan said the effort by the Biden Administration to allow the resumption of drilling and opening more opportunities, he addressed the effect of Russia and China on oil supply and prices and how quickly gas prices might respond.

“Well, it could be fairly quick depending on exactly the nature of what could surface,” he said. “There’s still a lot of potential in terms of disruption to oil prices, there still is the possibility that that you could move forward with sanctions on Russian energy. Although if that happens, it looks like it would be after the French election. And keeping in mind that COVID is still ravaging China, leading to lock downs and reduce demand there. So there are still a lot of factors that are very unpredictable, that could eventually push oil higher or lower.”

DeHaan said the U.S. may already have seen the highest gas prices for the year.

“We may have already seen our high watermark for the year, especially now that the President has continued to open the nation’s strategic reserve for oil supply, and US oil production has continued to increase rising another 100,000 barrels in the report from the EIA earlier this week, so US oil production continues to slowly rise and with the release of oil from the SPR, oil prices by the end of the year could be lower than where they are today.”

DeHaan said the nation’s lowest average prices for regular unleaded are in Georgia at $3.71 per gallon, while California continues to have the nation’s highest average price at $5.69 per gallon.

The lowest prices in Missoula can be found here.

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