Late-year gas prices hold steady in western Kansas
BY ANGIE HAFLICH
Special to The Hays Daily News
GARDEN CITY -- During the past few weeks, national average gas prices have been on the decrease, but appear to be steadying again.
At the same time, gas prices in Garden City have remained higher than the state and national averages, although they've remained steady.
"Gas prices had fallen steadily for more than three months, as the transition to less-expensive, winter-blend gasoline; cheaper crude oil prices; increasing gasoline inventories; lower demand; and continued economic concerns have meant relief at the pump for drivers across the country," Avery Ash, manager of federal relations for AAA, said in a news release last week.
As of Thursday, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.07 per gallon.
Contributing to this trend, gas prices in some parts of eastern Kansas have reported prices below the $3 mark recently.
According to kansasgasprices.com, prices for unleaded fuel were as low as $2.86 a gallon in Topeka, the lowest reported price in the state as of Thursday. Other areas in eastern Kansas, including Lawrence, Pittsburg, Lindsborg and Baxter Springs, reported unleaded gas prices ranging from $2.88 to $2.93 per gallon.
Higher prices in the state fell in a range from $3.19 to $3.39 per gallon in McPherson, Cherryvale, Garden City, Fredonia, Paola, Marysville, Ellsworth, Liberal, WaKeeney and Coffeyville.
As of Monday morning, gas prices in Hays ranged from $3.02 to $3.09 per gallon, according to kansasgasprices.com.
That average hasn't fluctuated much in either the past week, when the average was $3.204, or the past month, when the average was $3.264. Compared to this same time last year, the average price has only gone up about 5 cents per gallon.
In other parts of northwest Kansas, gas prices ranged from $3.04 in Russell to $3.17 in Goodland and $3.19 in WaKeeney and Phillipsburg, according to kansasgasprices.com.
Kansas, as a whole, typically has lower gas prices than other parts of the country. Hanni said this is largely due to demand and the location of refineries.
He also said the fluctuations in gas prices this year have been driven by a number of factors.
"It's hard to really predict or to pin why something's happening on one particular factor, but of late, at least ... the cheaper, winter fuel blends now have helped, and inventories of gasoline have been extraordinarily high, while demand has been very, very low. And of course, you've still got an economy struggling and all that," Hanni said.