BOISE – Gasoline demand is rising, supplies are tightening, and Idaho drivers are caught in the middle.  According to AAA, today’s average price for a gallon of regular in the Gem State is $3.29, which is eight cents more than a week ago and 37 cents more than a month ago, but still 38 cents cheaper than a year ago.

Meanwhile, the national average currently sits at $3.40 per gallon, which is a nickel more than a week ago, 21 cents more than a month ago, and just seven cents less than a year ago.  Idaho jumped six places this week, now ranking 19th in the country for most expensive gas.

“It’s a painful but familiar feeling, as pump prices rise ahead of the switch to summer-blend fuel and the return of the busy driving season,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the refineries make a smooth transition, without the need for extensive repairs beyond the typical seasonal maintenance.  On its own, summer-blend could add another ten cents or more per gallon.”

According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. gasoline demand has topped the 9 million barrel-per-day mark for the first time this year.  Fuel inventories also dropped by 4.5 million barrels on the week.  While supplies in the Rockies region are still 600,000 barrels higher than a year ago, area refineries continue to scale back production and are currently at 78.6% of capacity, a 1.3% dip from a week ago.  If demand surges this week and supplies dwindle, higher pump prices will follow.

The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is trading near $78 per barrel, which is $1 less than a week ago, $1 more than a month ago, and the same price as a year ago.

“The cost of crude is $8-$10 per barrel more expensive than a few months ago, but it’s held steady for the past few weeks,” Conde said.  “The EIA reports that crude inventories are up 1.4 million barrels from the previous week, and domestic production is at 13.2 million b/d, 1 million more than a year ago.  That has kept the price of fill-ups from surging even faster.”

Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices as of 3/11/24:

  • Boise – $3.30
  • Coeur d’Alene – $3.39
  • Franklin – $3.18
  • Idaho Falls – $3.11
  • Lewiston – $3.29
  • Pocatello – $3.28
  • Rexburg – $3.12
  • Twin Falls – $3.20