Montanans enjoying lowest gas prices in years

By BRETT NELSON/ Montana State News

The price of gasoline in Bozeman is as low as it has been since 2008. With an average price of unleaded gasoline at around $1.89 a gallon in Gallatin County, many are taking notice and filling up.

The cheapest regular gas available in Bozeman is at Costco for $1.84 a gallon, according to MontanaGasPrices.com. Montana State University student Patrick Wood said, “My car battery dies often, so now that gas is cheap I can afford to let my car run longer.”

“Other factors in the price slide are increased oil production in the United States, which last year passed Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer; decreased demand from slowing economies in Europe and Asia; and more fuel efficient vehicles,” said Chris Isidore of cbs4indy.com.

The national average price of gasoline is already on the rise and it won’t take long for the prices in Montana to follow suit. The low price of fuel is about as low as Montana residents will see it for some time.

About this time last year, fuel prices began to rise. The shift began during the first weeks of February and lasted until the beginning of May, with an average national increase of 35 cents per gallon. Prices are expected to follow a similar trend this year. Wood said, “I expect gas prices to rise again along with the price of groceries. It’s inflation.”

Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy.com spoke of this trend in a news release on Monday. The nation will see the return to a national average gas price of $1.99 per gallon this week, but “motorists shouldn’t expect it to last very long,” DeHaan said.

Money.cnn.com reported, “The death of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud last week prompted some uncertainty in markets on whether the Saudi Arabia will continue to maintain oil production.”

– Edited by Erin Murdock

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