Gas prices in the Rockies lowest in the nation

Motorists in the Rocky Mountain region are enjoying considerably lower gas prices than the rest of the U.S. and it's due to healthy gasoline inventories; the availability of cheap Canadian crude and refineries that operate exceptionally well.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com, says the Rockies are insulated from the higher price of West Texas oil and can capitalize on the less expensive crude from Canada, which is $20 less per barrel. DeHaan says the Rockies gasoline inventory is up 17% in the last month, the region's refinery output is over 95% and the refinery utilization rate is 96%.

Gregg Laskoski, another petroleum analyst with Gas Buddy.com, says sixty percent of gas stations in the Rocky Mountain region have gas below $3 per gallon. Only 24% of the stations in the rest of the country are below $3.

Laskoski says even when prices begin to edge upward, logistics of the region create a lag effect that keeps gasoline prices in the region two weeks behind the rest of the country".

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