Gas prices in Rio Rancho are hovering from about $3.33 to $3.62 for a gallon of unleaded regular gas.

Will they ever drop below $3 again?

Some experts think so. By late October, some experts predict gas prices will fall below that mark.

But the way the prices are dancing around, rising one week and falling the next, makes this a hard forecast to make.

According to AAA, tight supply and more demand have pushed the price at gas pumps up in the last week.

Indeed, the national price “maintained its recent surge,” AAA said Oct. 3.

Some of that, however, has to do with the differences, some of them significant, between gas prices by region.

“The regional differences in gas prices are stark at the moment, with prices on the West Coast hitting $6 a gallon and higher, while Texas and Gulf Coast states have prices dipping below $3 in some areas,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, in a report by AAA.

“At least six California refineries are undergoing maintenance, and there is limited pipeline supply to the West Coast from locations east of the Rockies.”

In New Mexico, the average gas price Oct. 4 was $3.624 per gallon. The price nationally was $3.805, according to AAA NM.

Rio Rancho gas prices, according to Gas Buddy on the Observer web site, had the low at $3.30 at Latitudes at 2410 Rio Rancho Dr.

Here’s a look at prices nationwide from AAA.

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: California (+59 cents), Alaska (+54 cents), Oregon (+43 cents), Washington (+38 cents), Arizona (+38 cents), Nevada (+38 cents), Michigan (+19 cents), Illinois (+19 cents), Wisconsin (+17 cents) and Indiana (+16 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: California ($6.37), Nevada ($5.49), Oregon ($5.42), Alaska ($5.32), Washington ($5.29), Hawaii ($5.21), Arizona ($4.49), Idaho ($4.42), Michigan ($4.16) and Illinois ($4.16).