TOPEKA, Kan. – Oct. 22, 2018 – Kansas is among more than 80 percent of states experiencing lower gas prices this week compared to last. The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Kansas is now $2.67, five cents lower than a week ago.
“After several weeks of unseasonably high or rising prices, Kansans are finally finding some relief at the pumps,” said AAA Kansas spokesman Shawn Steward. “Lower gasoline demand and stable supplies have contributed to the price decrease. The price decrease trend could certainly reverse itself with upcoming geopolitical issues, but for now, motorists can enjoy this welcome change of cheaper gas.”
Of the 10 Kansas cities regularly highlighted by AAA Kansas (see chart below), none saw gas prices increase this week. Prices stayed the same this week in Hays and Lawrence, while prices fell in the eight other communities. Wichita (-7 cents), Garden City (-6) and Kansas City, Kan. (-4) had the largest price declines.
“When we compare our gas prices to the rest of America, Kansas can almost always claim positive news, and that is true again this week,” AAA Kansas’ Steward said. “Our $2.67 average is 18 cents less than the national average, and Kansas currently has the 13th cheapest gas in the country.”
According to AAA Kansas, this week’s Kansas gas price extremes are:
HIGH: Potwin (Butler County) – $3.09
LOW: Hutchinson (Reno County) – $2.45
The national gas price average is $2.85. That is six-cents cheaper than this month’s highest price of $2.91, which was the most expensive average during the month of October since 2014. Today’s price is also four cents cheaper than last week, the same price as last month and 39- cent more than this time last year.
Reduced refinery runs, due to peak maintenance season, have contributed to stable gasoline inventories amid lower demand, which is a contributing factor driving gas prices down.
“Motorists across the country are seeing gas prices more than a dime cheaper than last week, with 41 states having less expensive state averages on the week,” said AAA Kansas’ Steward. “Prices are falling despite market concerns about global supply and geopolitical tensions, but that could change later this month ahead of the U.S. announcement of imposed sanctions on Iran.”
Today’s national gas price extremes:
High: Hawaii – $3.90
Low: Delaware – $2.56
Change Over Last Year
In the region, South Dakota ($2.89) has the most expensive gas price average this week, followed by North Dakota ($2.86) and Illinois ($2.82). With the significant price drops this week, Ohio ($2.57) and Missouri ($2.59) have the cheapest price in the region and rank among the top 10 least expensive pump prices in the country.
Gasoline inventories drew by 456,000 bbl on the week, a factor lending to cheaper prices in the region. Despite the decrease, inventories sit at a 3.3 million bbl year-over-year surplus.
Oil market dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 47 cents to settle at $69.12. The crude market mostly saw losses last week following EIA’s latest weekly petroleum report, which showed domestic crude inventories grew by 6.5 million bbl. Total crude inventories now sit at 416.4 million bbl, marking the fourth week of consecutive growth and highest level since late June. The larger-than-expected growth in crude levels shocked the market, leading crude prices to fall. This week, prices could rise again due to concerns about U.S.-Saudi Arabia relations and upcoming U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran’s crude exports.
In related news, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. gained four oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 873. When compared to last year at this time, there are 137 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.