Gasoline prices in and near Dodge City saw a sudden increase in gasoline prices this week.

Many area stations saw gasoline prices jump 13 to 15 cents on Tuesday, with most stations selling a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline for $2.34 a gallon on Thursday morning.

According to press reports, the reason for the sudden increase is soaring gasoline prices in the Great Lakes region of the nation as gasoline inventories hit 2-year lows. Those factors, along with refinery maintenance taking place after being pushed back because of Hurricane Harvey and oil exports from the US hitting record levels, caused increases throughout the nation.

"Oil prices have rebounded in the last week, led higher by geopolitical tensions and declining inventories, leading gasoline prices in some parts of the country to make an unseasonable move higher," said Patrick DeHaan, petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com. "As refineries continue autumn maintenance, we may continue to see gasoline inventories under pressure, with a mixed bag of increases and decreases in the weeks ahead until the conclusion of such maintenance. Meanwhile, exports of crude oil and refined products continue to hit record levels, also weighing on markets. Without the ability to export crude oil, inventories in the U.S. would have continued to increase, keeping pressure on oil prices, but without such protection, oil is flowing out of the U.S. at a record pace."

According to AAA Kansas, gas prices are mixed and fluctuate depending on where in the state one lives. Kansas gas prices are mirroring what is being seen across the country, with fluctuations and variations occurring depending on location.

"Depending on where in the state — and throughout the country — you are filling up your tank, gasoline prices are playing tricks on some motorists with large increases on the week and treating others to lower gas prices," said AAA Kansas spokesman Shawn Steward. "The price volatility can be attributed to a new trend that has emerged during October in the last few years, which is an unexpectedly steady demand for gasoline after the end of the summer driving season."

Of the 10 Kansas cities regularly highlighted by AAA Kansas, four have higher gas prices this week, four are lower, and two remained the same. Hays (+7 cents) and Emporia (+5) experienced the largest price increases, while Lawrence, Salina and Wichita all saw their average pump prices fall 5 cents per gallon. Some of the larger gas retailers in Wichita, however, had posted a 10- to 12-cent increase to $2.39 per gallon early Monday morning.

Prices as of Thursday morning in Dodge City included Love’s Travel Plazas, Flying J and Murphy USA at $2.34 a gallon. Dillon’s and Kwik Shops at $2.35 a gallon and Phillips 66 on West Wyatt Earp at $2.39.

 

To contact the writer email rbluhm@dodgeglobe.com.