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Gas prices creep back up a tick
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Average retail gasoline prices in Kansas have risen 3.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $1.82 Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,329 gas outlets in Kansas. This compares with the national average that has fallen 2.3 cents in the last week to $2.02.
Prices in Great Bend remained under the state average at $1.76-1.79. Around the area, the price was $1,79 at Larned, $1.84 at Russell, $1.74 at Hays and $1.89 at Lyons.
The lowest prices in Kansas were reported in Salina at $1.63. The high was at Dighton with $2.40.
Including the change in gas prices in Kansas during the past week, prices yesterday were $1.30 per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 20.3 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 27.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands $1.26 per gallon lower than this day one year ago.
“Welcome back, $1.99,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. “This is the week that we’ll see the return to a national average of $1.99 - but motorists shouldn’t expect it to last very long.”
Refineries have been processing less crude oil and thus producing less gasoline, which will contribute to a soft bottoming out of the national average before a small recovery back in the very low $2s, he said. “And while this year will still feature far lower prices than last year, we’ll be subject to a seasonal lift in gasoline prices as refineries slow production to do maintenance and to make the progressive switch over to cleaner burning summer gasoline.”
Last year’s lift began the second week of February and saw the upward trend last until the beginning of May, during which, the national average saw a rise of 35 cents a gallon, he said. “This year we’re expecting a similar rise, though the previous few years the rise has averaged 30-65 cents per gallon.” 
On the diesel side of things, price drops have continued to outpace drops in gasoline prices, according to Gasbuddy. “Diesel prices dropped an average 7 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.835. By the start of February, diesel will fall under $2.80, and by Valentines Day, they’ll fall to $2.65, a sweetheart deal for consumers and trucking companies that have seen diesel prices lag behind gasoline prices.” 
Some quick gasoline price statistics as of Monday morning:
• Missouri has the lowest state average in the country; at $1.79 today, it is one of 27 states averaging under $2.
• There is only one state averaging above $3 today: Hawaii ($3.27).
• In the lower 48 states, California has the highest average at $2.45, followed by New York at $2.42.
• Every state has a lower average today than the same day last year. Ohio, at $1.89 today, has seen the biggest drop from the same day last year, down $1.40 from its Jan. 26, 2014 average.
• Only one state has an average less than $1 lower than last year: Hawaii (76 cents lower).
• There are only three states that don’t have a single station reporting a price under $2:
1. Vermont (lowest station reporting at $2.05)
2. Alaska (lowest station reporting at $2.29)
3. Hawaii (lowest station reporting at $2.73)