Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) While fuel prices tumble in some parts of the county, only a handful of Montana counties are selling gasoline for an average of $3 per gallon or less.

Julian Paredes, the Mountain West spokesperson for AAA, on Monday said the statewide average for fuel currently stands at $3.04 per gallon. Prices are expected to remain relatively low through spring, barring any major develops in Ukraine or Israel.

“The cheapest gas right now is $2.96 in Cascade County and the most expensive gas is $3.40 in Powder County,” Paredes said. “It ranges between $2.96 and $3.40.”

Only a handful of Montana counties currently have an average gas price below $3 a gallon including Cascade, Silver-Bow, Ravalli, Lake, Sweetgrass, Dawson ad Broadwater counties.

In Missoula County, fuel on average costs $3.02 a gallon, though several stations on the south side of the city are selling regular unleaded for $2.99.

Gas prices in Montana (red) remain below the national average (blue).
Gas prices in Montana (red) remain below the national average (blue).

Paredes said prices should remain low through the end of the year before creeping back up as spring approaches. It's an annual rite tied to supply and demand, he said.

“It's when demand picks up again and some refineries have to go down for maintenance,” he said. “There's less supply and more demand, and that's a guarantee for gas prices to go up.”

Last year's spike in gasoline prices was tied to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But for now, fuel prices have stabilized, though that could change and remains an unpredictable factor in the market.

“Any major development there could lift gas prices, and the war in Israel could lift gas prices, too,” said Paredes. “But if everything stays the same, gas should be pretty cheap until spring.”