AAA is reporting that gas prices in Idaho and the United States are decreasing a bit as February is ending. According to AAA, today’s average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the Gem State is $3.67, which is two cents less than a week ago but 21 cents more than a month ago. The national average currently sits at $3.37 per gallon, which is four cents cheaper than a week ago and 14 cents less than a month ago.
“Winter storms have recently limited travel in some parts of the country, and the cost of crude oil has dropped a bit over the past week or so. Both have played a part in keeping the price of fill-ups from rising this week,” AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde stated in a press release. “Unfortunately, with spring on the horizon, this could be more of a temporary lull than a lasting trend.”
According to the latest report by the Energy Information Administration, domestic gasoline stocks are about six million barrels lower than a year ago, with stocks in the Rockies region down by 1.2 million barrels. Fuel demand increased by 700,000 barrels on the week.
“Refinery production in our region has returned to nearly 76%, but we’re still reeling from the effects of the Suncor facility remaining offline in Colorado,” Conde also stated. “The facility is projected to resume operations at or around spring break, which typically marks the beginning of higher gasoline demand each year. If it isn’t ready to go, we could see higher pressure on area pump prices in the coming weeks.”
After dipping as low as $74 per barrel last week, the West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is currently trading near $76 per barrel, AAA reported. That’s $4 less than at the beginning of the year. Because the cost of crude oil makes up more than half of the price of finished gasoline, any decrease in crude prices can help ease prices at the pump.