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Lower gas prices predicted
Recent statewide increase expected to be short lived
new deh gas prices graphic
This graphic from the American Automobile Association shows how gas prices have fallen since last year around the United States. - photo by COURTESY GRAPHIC

Despite an up tick in pump prices that briefly interrupted a general decline, the cost of a gallon of gasoline should resume its downward trend, petroleum industry analysts report.
Average retail gasoline prices in Kansas have risen 1.9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.29 per gallon earlier this week, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,329 gas outlets in Kansas. This compares with the national average that has increased 1.3 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.44.
The lowest prices in the state were reported at Salina with $3.06 and $3.09 at Emporia. The highest was at McPherson and Goodland at $3.59. Lyons came in at $3.29.
Great Bend and Larned split the difference at $3.25, slightly below the state average.
Including the change in gas prices in Kansas during the past week, prices yesterday were 32.9 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are  unchanged versus a month ago. The national average has decreased 2.2 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 13.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.
“The last week saw upward momentum in gas prices continue, leading the national average up about a penny,” said senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan. But, “we’re past the seventh-inning stretch for what will be a short lived upward trend, and motorists will be seeing lower prices by late September in most areas across the country.”
A mere 1.5 percent of all U.S. gas stations are priced over $4, while roughly a third of stations are seeing prices over $3.50, a huge drop compared to last year when nearly 62 percent of stations were charging over $3.50. “On the bottom side, the cheapest 5 percent of stations are charging an average of $3.08, and that price will likely continue moving lower in the weeks ahead.”
Although the Kansas average stands today at $3.29 and is only a penny below where it was a month ago, it is 32 cents below where it was a year ago, good enough for second place among all states for year-over-year declines in gas prices which you are free to use) trailing only Iowa by a penny, the American Automobile Association reported.
The national average price for retail gasoline historically declines in the weeks after Labor Day, due to the end of the summer driving season and ample supply. September also marks the start of refineries beginning their yearly transition to producing a winter-blend of gasoline.
This blend is cheaper to make because it does not need to meet emissions requirements that are in place in many areas to prevent pollution when temperatures are warmer. Motorists usually enjoy cost savings during this period; however geopolitical instability, hurricanes or events that disrupt production could still cause temporary spikes in regional prices in the coming months. 
According to the AAA, most consumers are experiencing month-over-month savings for retail gasoline. The price at the pump is lower in 44 states, including Kansas, and Washington, D.C. during this span.
Besides Kansas, consumers in six other states are saving a quarter or more per gallon year-over-year. Drivers in the Midcontinent states of Iowa (-33 cents), Kansas (-32 cents), Nebraska (-29 cents) and Minnesota (-28 cents) are experiencing the largest savings in the retail price for gasoline, largely reflecting a run up in prices at the end of last year’s summer driving season. Drivers in 35 states are experiencing at least a dime savings over a year ago.
The AAA noted that global markets have kept a wary eye on geopolitical unrest, particularly in Ukraine and Iraq. However, these developments have had little impact on supply and subsequently the retail price of gasoline.
News on Friday of a possible cease fire between Russia and Ukraine put further downward pressure on oil prices. Despite some reports of violence over the weekend and the announcement today of additional European sanctions on Russia, global oil prices continue to slide. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 63 cents lower at $92.66 per barrel. This marks the lowest settlement for WTI since Jan. 14.