Hurricane Harvey drove gas prices higher quickly upon hitting the Texas coast.

Slowly, the current trend is down.

According to GasBuddy.com, average retail gasoline prices in Kansas have fallen 5.1 cents per gallon recently, averaging $2.38 on Monday. The national average has fallen 4.7 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.60.

Including the change in gas prices in Kansas during the past week, prices yesterday were 29.8 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 19.3 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 27.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 40.4 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on September 18 in Kansas have ranged widely over the last five years: $2.08/g in 2016, $2.15/g in 2015, $3.21/g in 2014, $3.51/g in 2013 and $3.83/g in 2012.

"As we welcome back winter gasoline across most of the country, gasoline production has continued to recover after Harvey, leading much of the country to enjoy falling gasoline prices along with fall weather," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com. "With refineries continuing to get back online and with demand cooling off from the summer months, we have more room to see the national average drop in the week ahead. In fact, this week could see some of the largest drops in gas prices in many months. It still will take time to completely heal from the issues Harvey and Irma left, particularly due to the large-scale disruptions of fuel logistics and production, but improvement will continue both with lower retail prices and high refinery output."

"Gas prices are dropping as the situation with refineries, pipelines and gasoline deliveries is positively progressing," said Jennifer Haugh, AAA Kansas spokesperson. "It looks like pump prices will continue on this declining trend into the coming weeks as the regions affected by Irma and Harvey resume normal operations."

Midwest motorists are benefiting the most with a few states — Indiana, Michigan and Ohio — seeing gas prices plummet by the double-digits inside of seven days. Meanwhile, some states in the West Coast and Rockies are seeing gas prices increase.

As gas prices drop for the majority of the country, so does the nation’s gasoline inventory. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report identifies the latest draw of 8.4 million bbl as the highest on record, much of which can be attributed to motorist fueling up in the droves in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.

"Next week’s EIA report may bring another record-demand level as a continued result of Irma, but demand is expected to sharply decline across the country by the end of September," added Haugh.

As of Friday, most stations in Dodge City were listing a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline at $2.25 a gallon — significantly lower than it was just 2 weeks ago.

 

To contact the writer email rbluhm@dodgeglobe.com.