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Though a ‘Spring Spike’ in Gas Prices is Normal, 2017 May Buck the Trend

Montana gas
Photo by Jon King

Nearly every spring gas prices start skyrocketing, but this year is a quite a bit different. Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan says the slow climb in gas prices is surprising.

“Usually there are some refinery maintenance issues, the switch over to summer gasoline is usually much more painful, and that’s why prices average prices typically rise between 35 and 70 cents between February and Memorial Day, but this year, so far, the national average has only risen about 17 cents and you know what, we may not see a huge increase,” DeHaan Said

Gas prices have moved up about a penny in Montana over the past week, but the state is plodding along compared to the national average.

“It was a month ago when the national average was about five cents under Montana, but today, Montana is about six cents under the national average, so, I think that is the biggest game-changer here: that nationally the price has gone up by about 13 cents,  but Montana has only gone up by about two cents.”

Dehaan says a “mixed bag” of supply and demand market forces are making gas prices in 2017 very difficult to predict.

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