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Colorado gas prices remain high as supply drops below demand

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Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) – Colorado's average price per gallon of gas is nearly 50 cents more than the national average.

Gas prices average $3.64 per gallon in the state, with some areas reaching almost $5 per gallon, according to AAA. The nationwide average sits at $3.18 per gallon as of this week.

In Colorado, the prices reflect several issues the market has recently faced, according to industry experts. 

Demand is also starting to increase as children return to school while the national barrels per day (BPD) output has slowed, according to Mark Larson, the executive vice president of the Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association.

“Fuel pricing is very complex and multifaceted,” Larson said. “Fortunately, I-70 has partially reopened, refinery maintenance issues seemingly resolved, transportation ... while still a logistical nightmare, is getting us by.”

According to AAA’s gas prices map, Colorado has only seen a 13-cent per gallon increase over the last month. However, prices remain nearly $1.30 per gallon more than this time last year.

Rural counties across eastern Colorado have fared better than more densely populated counties.

Prowers County currently boasts Colorado’s lowest gas prices at $2.89 per gallon, while gas in Pitkin County costs more than $4.86 per gallon, according to AAA.

At the national level, supply is starting to taper off, which means consumers could be stuck with the inflated gas prices for the time being.

New data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that the U.S. is producing approximately 300,000 fewer BPD of crude oil, a rate that's nearly 500,000 BPD below last year’s volume despite lower levels of demand.