For now, at least, the average retail gasoline prices in Kansas are falling, dropping 4.3 cents per gallon in the past week with an average of $3.21 per gallon as of Sunday. This compares with the national average that has fallen 3.2 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.46, according to gasoline price website KansasGasPrices.com.
However, these decreases may come to a grinding halt, said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com. “The national average has again decreased in the last week, but the decreases are beginning to slow down.”
Including the change in gas prices in Kansas during the past week, prices yesterday were 8 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 42.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 32.6 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 3.1 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
The lowest prices in the state are reported at Salina with $3.05. The highest were just of I-70 at Hays with $3.79 at Burlington with $3.59.
In Great Bend, prices hovered below the state average at $3.17.
But, “wholesale gasoline prices rose strongly on Friday which could send prices higher in states with among the lowest prices in the United States,” DeHaan said. “The fuel tightness has also continued in New York City. For those in (Superstorm) Sandy’s wake, fuel availability remains difficult.”
According to the American Automobile Association, power outages and distribution issues after the storm left some delivery terminals and service stations – particularly in Northern New Jersey and New York City– without electricity and thus unable to deliver gasoline to stations and consumers. “It is important for motorists to realize that this continues to be an issue of electrical supply rather than a gasoline shortage. Once power is restored, there is more than adequate gasoline supply ready to be delivered to consumers,” a AAA news release said.
Because of this, DeHaan said, GasBuddy has implemented an emergency fuel availability service. The Hurricane Sandy fuel availability site can be found by navigating to gasbuddy.com/sandy/. It will feature a map with the locations of stations in the stricken area with and without fuel, and those that are without power.
The AAA reports the lowest gas prices in the nation fall in the Midwest and Southeast. The highest prices are in the area impacted by the storm, and in the West and Northwest.
Nationally, prices spiked at $3.92 in April and at around $3.80 in early September. Prices were at similar lows on Jan. 1 and July 1 of this year.