It is not your imagination, average retail gasoline prices in Billings have fallen 1.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $1.77 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 81 gas outlets in Billings.

This compares with the national average that has fallen 5.2 cents per gallon in the last week to $1.74 per gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

At some places in Billings, you could find gas for $1.75 per gallon.

Including the change in gas prices in Billings during the past week, prices on Sunday were were 11 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 20.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago, according to GasBuddy. The national average has decreased 24.6 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 43.4 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on February 8 in Billings have ranged widely over the last five years: $1.88 per gallon in 2015, $2.99 per gallon in 2014, $3.05 per gallon in 2013, $3.03 per gallon in 2012 and $2.95 per gallon in 2011.

Areas nearby Billings and their current gas price climate:

  • Montana - $1.78 per gallon, down 2.6 cents per gallon from last week's $1.81 per gallon.
  • Idaho - $1.94 per gallon, down 4.3 cents per gallon from last week's $1.98 gallon.
  • Wyoming - $1.71 per gallon, down 2.2 cents per gallon from last week's $1.73 per gallon..

Gasoline prices continue to plunge coast to coast as refiners continue to churn out winter-spec gasoline that will soon need to be purged, said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst in a prepared statement.

"While crude oil prices have held above recent lows, gasoline fundamentals continue to be remarkably weak as refiners continue to churn out winter-spec gasoline, incentivized by cheap crude oil," he said.. This has put retail gasoline prices under tremendous pressure as gasoline inventories rise to their highest January level since records started in 1990. Refiners will continue selling any winter spec gasoline at bargain basement prices to rid themselves of it before specifications change heading into summer. In the days ahead, expect this seasonal "clearance sale" of gasoline to continue, leading to lower prices in most areas.'

But," DeHaan said, "Don't get too relaxed- the shift in specifications will lead to an eventual lift in prices once winter gasoline is gone.”