Average retail gasoline prices in Kansas have risen 7.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.63 per gallon earlier this weekly, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,329 gas outlets in Kansas. This compares with the national average that has increased 5.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.81.
Including the change in gas prices in Kansas during the past week, prices were 82.4 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 18.8 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 11.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 85.8 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.
The cheapest gas in the state was reported in Wichita at $2.29. The highest price was $2.99 at Coldwater and Protection.
Great Bend fell in between at $2.55. Elsewhere in the area, prices were $2.55 at Larned, $2.59 at Lyons and $2.53 at Russell.
“Thanks to a large surprise decline in both crude oil and gasoline inventories last week, gasoline prices unexpectedly regained upward momentum,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. “The government’s weekly report on petroleum supplies was a major departure from what we’ve seen this far in 2015: major jumps in crude inventories, so the market reacted significantly to the year’s first big decline in supply.”
Meanwhile, continued and new glitches in the Great Lakes region has led to a big spike in prices throughout Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia and Wisconsin, he said. “It’s been a rough week at the pump as unexpected malfunctions and summer maintenance have led to very tight supply in the region.”
The rest of the country saw modest increases in the last week with the primary catalyst being the lousy federal Energy Information Administration weekly report, DeHaan said. “Should we see another big surprise this week, I don’t want to see the market’s reaction. I see oil currently overvalued and believe the market will eventually come to its senses.”
The American Automobile Association agrees this hike may be short lived.
Even though regional refinery issues have driven the recent increase in the national average for retail gasoline, the cost of crude oil remains the underlying factor in the price motorists pay at the pump, AAA reported this week. Market analysts continue to suggest that ample crude oil supply will outpace global demand and characterize oil markets in the near term.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading crude exporter, is reportedly prepared to increase its production to meet strong demand, which likely would keep a ceiling on the price of crude. Domestic production also remains elevated and is expected to remain at or near current levels, despite the reduction in U.S. oil rig counts.