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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Gas Prices Continue Unseasonal Increase

Average Kansas per gallon price up 1 cent in past week to $2.75, 44 cents more than a year ago.

TOPEKA, Kan. – Oct. 8, 2018 – Bucking the usual trend most years during this time of year, gas prices in Kansas and across the nation continue to rise. Kansas saw only a modest 1-cent increase in the past week to $2.75, but is up 8 cents in the past month and up 19 percent from a year ago. Generally, motorists experience some autumn relief at the pumps, with less affordable gasoline blends and lower demand, but those trends have not held true this year.

“The September switch-over to winter-blend gasoline ushered in cheaper gas prices compared to the summer, but that drop was short lived,” said Shawn Steward, AAA Kansas spokesman. “Crude oil accounts for half of the retail pump price and crude is selling at some of the highest price points in four years. That means fall and year-end prices are going to be unseasonably expensive.”

Crude oil has priced higher amid concerns of global crude supply and geopolitical tensions, including pending sanctions with Iran and Venezuela’s unstable economy.

As a result, fall gas prices have not been this expensive since 2014. At that time, motorists were paying on average more than $3/gallon nationally, and crude oil was selling well above $70/bbl. This year, despite stocks increasing in the U.S. by 8 million bbl on the week, crude oil is selling at a good $25/bbl or more than last year, hitting $75/bbl last week.

Of the 10 Kansas cities regularly highlighted by AAA Kansas (see chart below), six saw their gas prices increase, led by Salina (+10 cents), Lawrence (+9) and Hays (+3). Prices stayed the same this week in Manhattan, Pittsburg and Topeka, while Kansas City, Kan. saw a 1-cent decrease.

“There is some good news about Kansas gas prices, as there almost always is,” AAA Kansas’ Steward said. “Our $2.75 per gallon average is 16 cents less than the national average, and we currently have the 13th cheapest gas in the country. When you consider that 14 states are paying more than $3 per gallon – some much more – and even our neighbors in Colorado are at $2.97, we have it pretty good.”

According to AAA Kansas, this week’s Kansas gas price extremes are:
HIGH: Longton (Elk County) – $3.20
LOW: Nickerson (Reno County) – $2.52

National Perspective
The national gas price average increased three cents on the week to $2.91. All but seven states are paying more on the week. Today’s national gas price average is six-cents more than a month ago and 41-cents more than a year ago.

Today’s national gas price extremes:
High: Hawaii – $3.84
Low: South Carolina – $2.61

Gas Price Trends in Select Kansas Cities
Sources: http://aaa.opisnet.com/index.aspx and http://gasprices.aaa.com/

Today
Last Week
Last Month
Last
Year
Change Over Last Year
National
$2.91
$2.88
$2.85
$2.50
16%
Kansas
$2.75
$2.74
$2.67
$2.31
19%
Emporia
$2.74
$2.73
$2.62
$2.26
21%
Garden City
$2.72
$2.70
$2.63
$2.26
20%
Hays
$2.78
$2.75
$2.67
$2.34
19%
KCK
$2.75
$2.76
$2.79
$2.33
18%
Lawrence
$2.72
$2.63
$2.75
$2.36
15%
Manhattan
$2.78
$2.78
$2.68
$2.44
14%
Pittsburg
$2.75
$2.75
$2.66
$2.32
19%
Salina
$2.68
$2.58
$2.58
$2.25
19%
Topeka
$2.73
$2.73
$2.62
$2.31
18%
Wichita
$2.75
$2.74
$2.65
$2.26
22%
Bordering states and rank in lowest gas prices around the country
State
Current Avg.
Rank Today
Oklahoma
$2.72
11
Missouri
$2.69
9
Kansas
$2.75
13
Colorado
$2.97
37
Nebraska
$2.85
20

 

Great Lakes and Central States Trends
Gas prices are more expensive for every state in the Great Lakes and Central region except Wisconsin ($2.89) where prices saw no change on the week. Three states land on this week’s biggest changes list: Ohio (+9 cents), Kentucky (+8 cents) and Indiana (+7 cents). Regional refinery maintenance and expensive crude oil prices are two major factors contributing to the increase.

Compared to September, motorists are paying 5-13 cents more to fill-up in the region. Nebraska (+13 cents), Kentucky (+11 cents), Minnesota (+11 cents) and North Dakota (+11 cents) rank among the top 10 largest states in the country with the largest month-over-month increase.

Gasoline inventories dipped by 661,000 bbl, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, dropping total inventories to 51.5 million bbl.  Levels sit at one of the lowest for the region this year, but are comparable to this time last year. If inventories continue to decline, prices will likely continue to increase.

Oil market dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased a penny to settle at $74.34. Crude prices bounced between gains and losses last week due to concerns around the impact of U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran, which will go into effect early next month and target Iran’s energy sector. The volatility is also attributed to concerns about the possible collapse of Venezuela’s economy. The increase in crude prices occurred despite crude oil inventories increasing by 8 million bbl to 404 million bbl last week, according to EIA. As speculation ramps up before the new sanctions on Iran take effect — which is driving increased investment in crude under the allure of even higher prices being reached later this year — crude prices will likely continue climbing next week.

In related news, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. lost two oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 861. However, when compared to last year at this time, there are 113 more rigs now than in 2017.

AAA Mobile App
Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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