The following is a news release from AAA Idaho.
BOISE – The high price of crude oil continues to make filling up your gas tank an expensive proposition, despite rising gasoline supplies and falling demand.
According to AAA, Idaho’s average price for regular fuel is $3.55 per gallon, which is two cents less than a week ago and nine cents cheaper than a month ago. Meanwhile, the national average currently sits at $3.30 per gallon, which is a penny more than a week ago and four cents less than a month ago.
“Crude oil supplies are still very tight. So, when recent civil unrest in Kazakhstan took much of that country’s production offline, there were immediate ripple effects, and prices moved closer to $80 per barrel,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “As long as the market remains skittish, we will see fluctuations in the cost of crude and shaky gas prices, too.”
Today, the West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is trading near $78 per barrel, which is $6 more than a month ago and $26 more than a year ago. Domestic crude stocks are 14% lower than in December 2020, and high crude prices have been enough to offset a recent build in gasoline supplies and demand that dropped by half a million barrels on the week.
2021 in review
Gas prices were at their least expensive in January, then climbed rapidly with the return of the spring driving season. Skyrocketing prices slowed their trajectory due to an outbreak of the COVID-19 delta variant, but ultimately, travelers would not be deterred. Last year, pent-up travel demand was just slightly below pre-pandemic levels for every major holiday.
While Idaho gas prices peaked in late July and early August, the national average reached its zenith in the run-up to Thanksgiving. Continued concerns about the omicron variant and limited production increases by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) contributed to further market uncertainty, resulting in price instability.
“At one point in time, pump prices in the Gem State were 50 cents higher than in other parts of the country. While they’re still much higher than anyone would like them to be, the gap has at least closed somewhat,” Conde said. “Right now, falling demand is serving as a kind of pressure valve. But once the weather improves and more people hit the road, we could see prices jump as we get closer to spring break.”
Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices as of Jan. 10, 2022:
Boise – $3.64
Coeur d’Alene – $3.33
Franklin – $3.48
Idaho Falls – $3.41
Lewiston – $3.41
Pocatello – $3.55
Twin Falls – $3.62