BOISE – Rising crude oil prices are pushing gasoline prices higher across the country, and AAA says that Idaho may follow suit in the coming days and weeks.
According to AAA, the national average currently sits at $3.87 for a gallon of regular – a six-cent jump from a week ago. The soaring cost of crude oil, which makes up half of the price of finished gasoline, pushed pump prices higher this week, despite increases in both gasoline and crude oil supplies.
Gem State prices are holding steady at $4.15 per gallon, where they’ve remained all week. But if prices continue to rise elsewhere, it’s only a matter of time before Idaho drivers face similar challenges.
“Right now, we’re like Charlie Brown, eagerly running toward that football of cheaper pump prices that’s usually there after Labor Day. But this year, the football’s been pulled back right when we thought things were starting to go our way,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “OPEC’s recent announcement that current crude oil cuts will continue through the end of the year has stoked fears that crude supplies will remain tight through the holidays. A recent report by the International Energy Agency indicates that these cuts could lead to an oil supply shortfall this fall and winter. As long as those concerns remain, expensive crude could diminish the price drops we might normally see with falling gasoline demand and the return to cheaper winter-blend fuel.”
On Friday, the West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is trading near $91 per barrel, topping the previous day’s $90 for the first time since November 7 of last year.