Travel expert gives insight on fuel-price outlook

Kansans are finally starting to see some relief at the pump when they fill up their vehicles.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 8:58 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Kansans are finally starting to see some relief at the pump when they fill up their vehicles as the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline continues its steady decline.

Thursday, Aug. 4, the average price for a gallon of unleaded gas in Kansas was $3.76. In Wichita, the average cost is $3.64. For comparison, that’s still about 70 cents more than a year ago.

A spokesperson for AAA (Triple-A) said what happens next with gas prices is tough to predict. Prices could keep going down, they could plateau, or they could start to go up again.

Kansans like Diane Edwards have taken a hit from gas prices.

“My son was considering changing vehicles because it was so high for awhile but now, it’s a little better,” Edwards said.

In recent weeks, relief has slowly made its way to the pump as the price of oil drops.

“We’ve seen a significant drop over the past seven weeks or so, almost 80 cents,” said AAA Spokesperson Shawn Steward.

But looking at where prices were in recent history, drivers are hoping to see prices lower further. Currently, it’s unclear if prices can return to levels below $3 per gallon anytime soon. Steward said it depends on a variety of factors, both in the U.S. and globally.

“A significant drop in demand, that could drop prices lower if there’s a lot of supply and few people are using large quantities of gas on the other side,” he said. Demand regularly decreases in the fall and winter months, which could contribute to some lower prices.

But there are also factors that could drive the price back up.

“We’re also looking at global factors like war, sanctions on oil, Russian oil specifically. And certainly this time of year, we’re looking at things like hurricanes in the gulf which could impact those refining and production facilities down there,” Steward said.

Kansas is currently well below the national average by about 37 cents. Our prices are the 11th cheapest in the country.

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