Who would have thought that one of the best gifts of the season could be found at the gas  pump?

Average retail gasoline prices in Billings have fallen 9.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $1.99/gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 81 gas outlets in Billings. This compares with the national average that has not moved in the last week to $2.00/gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Areas nearby Billings and their current gas price climate:

  • Montana- $2.01/gallon, down 7.1 cents per gallon from last week's $2.08/gallon.
  • Idaho- $2.11/gallon, down 1 cent per gallon from last week's $2.12/gallon.
  • Wyoming- $1.94/gallon, flat from last week's $1.94/gallon.

Including the change in gas prices in Billings during the past week, prices on Sunday were were 24.3 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 29.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 4.2 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 28.2 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

As the majority of the United States is still experiencing falling retail gas prices, California and the Great Lakes states are buoying the national average, keeping it from dropping further below $2 per gallon, said Will Speer, a Houston-based senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. After a healthy 5.9 million barrel draw in domestic crude stocks, crude futures markets responded with gains in the price of West Texas Intermediate crude, Speer said.

"Despite this bullish pressure, 38 of the 50 states saw a weekly decline in gas prices. However, this majority of states lowering gas prices wasn’t enough to move the national average significantly, a testament to the severity of California’s gas price hike," said Speer. "As the refining issues impacting California aren’t expected to be resolved this week, California will continue to inflate the national gas price average into the new year.”