PITTSBURG, Kan. — Drivers in Kansas are being warned to brace themselves as drivers may be facing some major gas pains by this week, experts say.
According to GasBuddy, a technology company that offers mobile applications and websites for tracking crowd-sourced locations and prices of gas stations and convenience stores in the United States, drivers in Kansas as well as six other states may see fuel prices spike from 50 cents to as much as $1 per gallon. GasBuddy noted the occurrence in a press release late last week.
GasBuddy did not release much information about the reason behind the predicted price hike, however, sources have told the organization that a refinery outage may be to blame.
“The details on the outage generally lag the response we see in wholesale gasoline prices, due to the nature of these situations,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “A refinery that goes down has contractual obligations to supply certain volumes of gasoline to sta-tions. If an unexpected outage happens, the refinery that goes down suddenly may not have enough supply to meet its obligations and has to find another refinery to buy from.
“This can push prices up considerably, as a refinery could be a very large buyer. Adding in that we’re just a week away from the switch to cheaper winter gasoline, we have a very large, but tem-porary squeeze in the market.”
To avoid overpaying, drivers in states affected are encouraged to fill up immediately before price spikes reach their local station.
“While a waiver from the EPA to allow the switch to winter gasoline now could happen, what we absolutely know is that without action, gasoline prices are about to spike in a significant way and motorists should be prepared for increases that could last until a waiver is issued, or the change to winter gasoline happens on Sept. 16,” De Haan said. “The spike in gas prices may be relatively short-lived, but the situation remains volatile.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, according to GasBuddy gas prices from across Crawford County, the median price for regular gas is $3.60 with prices as high as $3.69. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the current average for gas prices in Kansas is $3.69 for regular gas, while Mon-day’s average was $3.65.
The AAA also noted that the price of regular gas one week ago happened to be $3.55, and the price one month ago was $3.66. One year ago, the price amounted to $3.36.