The following is a news release from AAA Idaho.
IDAHO FALLS — Idaho gas prices defied the national trend this week, dropping two cents while the U.S. average went up by two cents. But according to AAA, the fallout from a busy hurricane season continues to torment drivers at the pump, and there could be rough days ahead.
As expected, fuel demand fell after Labor Day, and currently sits at 8.9 million barrels per day – the lowest level since just before Memorial Day and the start of the summer driving season. But Hurricanes Ida and Nicholas forced the precautionary closure of oil rigs and refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, where approximately 23 percent of offshore crude oil production remains offline.
“Production is slowly ramping up, but right now, crude oil stocks are at their lowest level since 2017, when Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc in the Gulf,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “Tight supplies are driving up the price of crude oil, and the national average price for gasoline is now at a seven-year high.”
Idaho’s average price for regular is $3.77, which is four cents less than a month ago and $1.32 more than a year ago. Meanwhile, the U.S. average is $3.20, which is three cents more than a month ago and $1.02 more than a year ago. The states with the largest weekly increases are Ohio (+11 cents), Florida (+10 cents), and Kentucky (+8 cents). Idaho is one of just 15 states that saw the price of fill-ups drop from a week ago.
The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is currently trading near $71 per barrel after hitting nearly $73/bbl just a few days ago. If the price of crude remains at this level or rises, the price of gasoline will likely follow.
“It’s worth noting that we’re only at the halfway point of hurricane season, and we’ve already had 17 named storms,” Conde said. “Depending on how things go, prices at the pump could be pretty wobbly heading into October.”
Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of Sept. 20:
- Boise – $3.88
- Coeur d’Alene – $3.43
- Franklin – $3.78
- Idaho Falls – $3.70
- Lewiston – $3.48
- Pocatello – $3.79
- Twin Falls – $3.87