WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Gas prices spiked overnight in Wichita to the highest in more than a decade. At many stations, gas is now $3.99 a gallon. It is higher than the state average by 14 cents.
An economist explains there are several factors for the sharp jump. One of those is price cycling. This means gas prices jump 20 to 40 cents more a gallon and will stay there for a few weeks. Every couple of days, drivers might see the price go down a few cents before prices rise again.
One GasBuddy economist said competition between retailers is the blame.
“Stations are generally at a point where they’re not making any money anymore,” Patrick De Hann, GasBuddy Head Petroleum Analyst, said. “Then, one of them raises prices 20 to 30 cents to where they’re making money again. The other one follows, and then the game starts all over again.”
De Hann said tension in Ukraine and the summer travel season starting to pick up are causing the spike as well. He believes drivers won’t see relief at the pump for quite some time.
“There may be a day you’ll be lucky to fill up for $3.75,” De Hann said. “There may be a day you’re unlucky enough to fill up with gas that could be $4.25 — maybe even $4.50–, but I really don’t see it going beyond that yet.”
According to AAA, the state average is $3.86. A year ago, Kansans were paying $2.73 a gallon.
Kansas is closing in on an all-time high for gas. Back in July 2008, gas was more than $4 a gallon.
If you use diesel, the Kansas average is $5.24 a gallon.