For the seventh week in a row, gas prices across the U.S. have held firm. Patrick DeHaan is the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy and he provided KGVO with the current numbers in Missoula and Montana.

“Prices in Missoula are up a little bit in the last week,” DeHaan said. “The current average is about $2.27 per gallon, which is over 50 cents per gallon lower than what we were spending a year ago. The national average is a little bit lower than Missoula, coming in at $2.17 per gallon. The national average is down about three tenths of a penny in the last week. The statewide average in Montana is virtually unchanged from a week ago and it stands at about $2.24 per gallon.”

DeHaan said the demand for gas rose slightly last week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean prices are going to rise as well.

“We will have to see if the coronavirus situation continues to improve enough to offset the normal seasonal decline that we see in demand heading into the fall,” DeHaan said. “That is going to hold the key to the direction of prices in the months ahead. At this point, I believe that we probably will see downward movement this fall. However, if there is enough improvement in the coronavirus situation, that could be offset.”

According to DeHaan, this summer driving season has been unlike any other.

“I don’t think we have seen this much stability in the summer driving season for at least the last 15 to 20 years,” DeHaan said. “Gas prices were basically unchanged for over half of the summer. That is stability that was brought on by, of course, the pandemic. Typically, there are a lot more factors that would push prices up or down.”

The cheapest station in Montana is priced at $2.03 per gallon today while the most expensive is $2.69 per gallon.