Idaho gas prices in top 10 in U.S.
Predicted seasonal gas price increases have reached Idaho, with higher pump prices expected to follow, according to a press release.
“Over the last week, Idaho’s average gas prices have surged by an incredible sixteen cents per gallon,” stated American Automobile Association Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde. “The spring has come in like a lion, with no signs of slowing down.”
With last week’s price jump, Idaho returns to the list of top 10 highest gas prices at 10th in the nation. Idaho fuel is the most expensive in the Rocky Mountain region.
On Monday, the national average for regular gasoline was $2.61, which is 9 cents more than a month ago and 33 cents more than a year ago. In the Gem State, Idaho drivers are paying $2.72, 16 cents more than a month ago and 24 cents more than a year ago. Boise’s prices were projected at about $2.79.
“Several factors could be contributing to the higher pump prices we’re seeing in Idaho and in other parts of the country,” Conde said.
According to the Energy Information Administration, 10 percent of the Rocky Mountain region’s distilled production capacity went offline in March due to scheduled maintenance. In April, about 16 percent of capacity will be offline.
Summer-blend fuel is also more expensive to produce, because additives are needed to prevent evaporation at higher temperatures.
And while U.S. crude oil production continues to boom, international oil producers are working to control the global supply and corresponding prices. Last week, the U.S. produced 10.41 million barrels per day, a new record. About 800 domestic oil rigs are active this week, 152 more than this time last year, according to AAA.
“There’s been an overall reduction in global crude oil supply, and further reductions could drive higher oil prices,” Conde said.
In the U.S., crude oil inventories have dropped 2.6 million barrels from the previous week, and storage levels across the country now total 428.3 million barrels — 105 million barrels less than this time last year. Reduced crude oil supply can be an indicator of higher-than-usual gasoline demand nationwide, which has coincided with growing crude oil and gasoline exports from the U.S.
AAA predicts that there will continue to be upward pressure on fuel prices, both nationally and here in Idaho, throughout the spring.