As of this past weekend, Topeka was ranked 15th for the least expensive gas price average in the metro areas around the nation at $2 per gallon, the American Automobile Association reported. Wichita at $2.01 was 22nd and Lawrence was 28th nationally.
Kansas overall, is the eighth least expensive price average with $2.03 per gallon compared to the national average of $2.22. And AAA notes prices continue to drop following the pattern from this time last year.
In Great Bend, the price was below the state average, coming in at $1.99. The price was the same in Larned and Lyons.
The lowest price in the Sunflower State was $1.85 at Parsons. The high was $2.46 at Oberlin.
The average price across the country at the pump has fallen for 15 of the last 16 days, for a total savings of four cents per gallon. The national average currently sits at two cents less than one week ago, one cent more than one month ago and one cent more year-over-year. The national average is down 17 cents per gallon versus the 2016 peak price reached in June ($2.39).
Meanwhile, retail gasoline prices in Kansas have fallen three cents in the past week, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,329 gas outlets in the state.
Including the change in gas prices in Kansas during the past week, prices were 15.8 cents per gallon lower than Oct. 23 one year ago and are 1.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago, Gasbuddy reported. The national average has increased 1.2 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 1.1 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
The variation in the savings over last year’s prices is indicative of the mixed range of pricing changes last year. In as recent as 2013 Kansans were paying on average of $3.16 the same time of year.
According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on Oct. 24 in Kansas have ranged widely over the last five years: $2.20 in 2015, $2.96 in 2014, $3.11 in 2013, $3.44 in 2012 and $3.34 in 2011.
“For the first week in the last 119 weeks (833 days), the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline stands higher than it did a year ago,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “The trend that has delivered consistently lower gas prices is showing signs of fading away as consistent discussion from both OPEC and non-OPEC members appears to be aligned for a likely production cut at the OPEC meeting in late November.”
In terms of recent gas prices, it has been a bit of a mixed bag in the U.S., with the exception of Utah, the largest 15 changes in gas price averages over the last week have all been lower. The Midwest has been the primary beneficiary as both unplanned maintenance and planned maintenance begin to wrap up, which is likely to be soon mirrored across much of the rest of the country, he said.
“But OPEC’s decision looms as a possible major impact to the market over the next month,” he said. If OPEC does follow through and cuts crude oil production, expect gas prices this winter to stay higher than last year.
If OPEC doesn’t cut production, gas prices would likely drop in many areas across the country. “It’s very difficult to gauge what the outcome may be given the agendas of various oil producing countries, but no matter, don’t expect gas prices this winter to drop as low as last year, and certainly don’t expect next summer’s gas prices to be as low as this year,” DeHaan said.