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Utah drivers paying 69 cents more a gallon than 46 other states

Gas prices in Utah are expected to rise by another 30 cents by the end of the year.

Gas prices in Utah are expected to rise by another 30 cents by the end of the year. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — After the long pandemic, the world is opening back up and that can only mean — higher gas prices. But why are pump prices so high in Utah?

The AAA said motorists can expect prices to increase by up to 30 cents by the end of the year, according to a KSL NewsRadio report.

"Robust gasoline demand and more expensive crude oil prices are pushing gas prices higher," said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokeswoman.

No freedom from high gas prices in Utah

Gas prices in Utah over the July Fourth holiday hit their highest level since 2014.

Utah's five oil refineries, all located in the Salt Lake City area, process nearly 200,000 barrels of crude oil per calendar day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

But ...

  1. On Friday, the price of regular gasoline in Utah is $3.877 (fourth highest in U.S.).
  2. The average price for regular gasoline in Utah on March 25, was approximately $3.15 per gallon, according to AAA. (This link shows Utah gasoline prices county by county.)
  3. One year ago today in Utah, the price was $2.463.
  4. The national average on Aug. 6 is $3.189, but a year ago it was $2.182.
  5. The highest price ever recorded in Utah was $4.222 a gallon in July 2008.

The average national price of regular per gallon rose this week to $3.13, according to AAA. That's up from $3.05 on June 5. On July 5, 2020, when the pandemic kept drivers home, a gallon of gas cost just $2.18 on average, according to The New York Times.

Outlook: Steady rise

According to Forbes, the OPEC+ nations have restabilized their agreement and extended the scheduled expiration date into December 2022. There will likely be a continuation of the same steady rise in gas prices of the past 12 months but probably at a slower pace.

  • Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries include Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela (the five founders), plus the United Arab Emirates, Libya, Algeria, Nigeria and four other countries.

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Curt Gresseth


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