Salt Lake City—Utah drivers will kick off 2018 with the most expensive gas to begin a year since 2014, according to AAA, but prices are expected to fall in coming weeks as travel demand subsides after a busy holiday travel season.
At $2.40, Utah’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline today is 16 cents more than drivers paid in January, 2017. At nearly $2.84 per gallon, Moab drivers are paying the highest prices in the state — about 50 cents more than drivers in Salt Lake City.
“Last year was a historic travel season, with AAA forecasting record travel numbers for nearly every holiday, but gas prices historically will drop after the ball drops on New Year’s Eve,” said Michael Blasky, a spokesman for AAA Utah. “Utah drivers are still paying about eight cents less than the national average.”
2018’s starting price is the highest in Utah since 2014, when drivers paid $3.11 for a gallon of regular unleaded. Gas prices remained high for most of that year, but fell to $2.00 by 2015.
Oil prices stayed fairly low and stable in 2017, with prices for a barrel hovering around $50 much of the year. But prices rose late in the year, and we began 2018 with oil selling for more than $60 a barrel, a 2-year high.
“With global oil producers trying to scale back their production, supply could drop while demand for energy remains high,” Blasky said. “If they’re successful in cutting back oil production, gasoline prices will likely rise as well to meet the demand.”