The rapid increase of gas prices across the U.S. finally hit a wall this week and prices in Missoula actually dropped about a penny. Patrick DeHaan is the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy and he provided KGVO with the current numbers.

“The average price in Missoula is about $2.17,” DeHaan said. “Statewide, the average has gone up about four cents in the last week and it stands at about $2.18 per gallon. That is exactly where the national average is at today, $2.18 per gallon. Oil prices have been bouncing around $40 per barrel in the last week as we prepare for the 4th of July, which could see the lowest national average on the holiday since 2004.”

COVID-19 case numbers have risen in several states recently and DeHaan said the demand for gas has decreased, which is probably keeping oil prices in check for now.

“There may be some stability here,” DeHaan said. “We could see the increases fizzle out temporarily unless oil prices continue to rally. We are continuing to be in a situation where the coronavirus is kind of pushing things up or pushing things down. If things improve, prices may go up by Labor Day. If things do not improve, if we see more states that have a rising number of cases, then prices may stabilize or fall slightly over the next four to six weeks.”