Billings motorists have been cautioned for weeks that lower gas prices likely will not hold for much longer. This could be the week they begin to rise, again.

Average retail gasoline prices in Billings have not moved in the past week, averaging $1.71 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 81 gas outlets in Billings. This compares with the national average that has increased 1.9 cents per gallon in the last week to $1.71 per gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Billings during the past week, prices yesterday were 25.4 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 12.9 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 13.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 58.4 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on February 22 in Billings have ranged widely over the last five years:

  • $1.97 per gallon in 2015
  • $3.07 per gallon in 2014
  • $3.21 per gallon in 2013
  • $3.14 per gallon in 2012
  • $2.97 per gallon in 2011.

Areas nearby Billings and their current gas price climate:

  • Montana - $1.70 per gallon, down 1 cent per gallon from last week's $1.71 per gallon
  • Idaho - $1.86 per gallon, down 3.4 cents per gallon from last week's $1.89 per gallon
  • Wyoming - $1.64 per gallon, flat from last week's $1.64 per gallon

“Many motorists in the Midwest saw an ugly surprise at the gas pumps last week, as prices spiked as high as 23 cents per gallon in one week’s time in places," Will Speer, a GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst, said in a prepared statement. "The spike occurred on the back of news that Midwest refineries were reducing production rates due to poor economics. The rest of the U.S. enjoyed another week of declining gas prices."

The largest decline in retail gas prices occurred in Southern California, as the wholesale gasoline price fell to the cheapest in the country, Speer said. Expect West Coast motorists to reap the benefits of these low wholesale prices at the pump in the upcoming week, he added.