Gas prices throughout Dodge City have edged lower in the past 2 weeks, despite fears of increased prices due to lowering reserves.

According to AAA Kansas and GasBuddy.com, the average price per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline in Kansas is $2.08 — the same price it was the week before. The national average fell 1.7 cents per gallon to $2.24.

AAA Kansas noted higher demand and smaller oil reserves could cause gasoline prices to rise, but noted only the Wichita and Emporia markets saw increases in the past week. GasBuddy.com noted Wichita had a 7 cent increase to $2.11 a gallon, while Topeka saw prices dip by almost 2 cents a gallon.

 "As we hit the middle of the summer season, Kansas motorists can still fill up for $2.11/gallon or less at 64 percent of the locations in the state," said Jennifer Haugh, AAA spokesperson. "If, however, demand keeps pace and stocks continue to draw down at sizable levels, gas prices are likely to increase this month into next. So now is a good time to take a road trip."

"As expected, gasoline prices over the last week were mixed. While the national average edged lower by a couple cents, nearing its lowest of the summer, 20 states saw average prices move higher, two states saw prices little changed, while 28 saw average prices decline," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com. "Oil prices, after sagging to close the month of June, had started July by surging, only to let up shortly after.

"Last week, however, the market resumed the rise, posting a 5 percent weekly gain, so we're likely again to see something of everything: gas prices rising in most areas, falling in a few, and perhaps changing little in a handful of places as well.

"The bigger issue we're now looking at that could affect gasoline prices are a last-minute special meeting OPEC will be holding on July 27. It remains a bit of a mystery what, if anything, they may decide, but all eyes will be focused on any policy changes or production changes."

In Dodge City, Murphy USA, Dillons and Kwik Shops and a Conoco station on 2nd Avenue South were all at $2.01 a gallon this week. Flying J and Love’s Travel Plazas were at $2.02 a gallon, while some in the area were still advertising at $2.09.

According to GasBuddy.com the lowest priced gasoline in Kansas is $1.92.

According to CNBC, Oil prices rose on Thursday, extending gains made the previous session after falling U.S. crude and oil product inventories lifted the market.

Brent crude oil prices broke above the key $50-per-barrel mark for the first time in more than 6 weeks, despite concerns about high supplies from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which pledged to cut output along with non-OPEC producers.

Analysts offered mixed supply outlooks for the commodity ahead of an OPEC meeting next week.

"Over the past 15 weeks, U.S. oil inventories have fallen — 13 times, and in most cases, the falls were more pronounced than expected," said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at futures brokerage Forex.com. "Yet, U.S. crude oil inventories still remain near the upper half of the average for this time of the year."

It was noted output from OPEC members Libya and Nigeria, which are currently exempt from OPEC production cuts, have added to the surplus.

Monday’s OPEC meeting in Russia is a special meeting to discuss oil markets. Analysts say rising political risk in Venezuela, the Middle East and North Africa could prop up oil prices in the near future.

 

Contact the writer at rbluhm@dodgeglobe.com.