Pain at the pump expected to ease soon

3/11/2014

By KELTON BROOKS

By KELTON BROOKS

kbrooks@gctelegram.com

The price of gas has been on the rise lately, with average retail gasoline prices in Kansas increasing 8.8 cents per gallon in the past week.

As of Sunday, prices were 17.3 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago, but 27.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago, according to Gasbuddy.com. That puts the average gasoline price per gallon at $3.42 in Kansas. The national average, on the other hand, increased 18.5 cents per gallon during the last month, putting the national average cost for a gallon of gas at $3.48.

Delmer Dunham of Dighton, who was filling up his Ford Taurus at Gas N' Go, 1621 E. Kansas Ave., said it takes about $45 to fill up his vehicle every few weeks traveling back and forth from Dighton to Garden City.

"You look at the prices of gas, and then you look at the prices of everything else — it's up and down all over the place," Dunham said.

Patrick Dehaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, said the cost of gas is rising because of oil prices and a seasonal transition to cleaner burning gas.

"There tend to be glitches and issues restarting in the refineries, and changing to the different blends of gasoline," Dehaan said. "As refineries get back online, the volatility will subside, and prices will slow their climb."

Dehaan added that it costs more to produce cleaner burning gas, but, even though the prices of oil have risen in recent weeks, it has already begun to fall.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, crude oil prices have dropped during the week, resulting in a more than $3 per barrel drop. The price of oil had dropped below $101 a barrel as of Tuesday.

"It's a pain, and I don't understand why it's fluctuating so much," said J.R. Hunter, who was filling up his work truck at Dillons West, 1211 Buffalo Jones Ave.

Hunter, employed at Teeter Irrigation, said he fills up his work truck nearly every day, which takes about $80. For his personal pickup truck, he said he burns close to $80 a week alone on gas.

"It's getting a little expensive, especially when you're out taking trips, and out driving around doing daily activities. It's getting pretty bad. It's definitely a pain," Hunter said.

There is good news for drivers.

Dehaan said he doesn't suspect any record-setting prices and the cost of gasoline per gallon should start to decline by mid- to late-May.

According to Gasbuddy, in Garden City, the lowest price of gas as of about 8 p.m. Tuesday night was at Oasis Car Wash and Gas for $3.369 a gallon. The highest was at J. J. Oil #03 for $3.499.

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