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Events in Ukraine contributing to further spike in gas prices

Events in Ukraine contributing to further spike in gas prices

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Events in Ukraine are indirectly felt in Wichita with gas prices jumping overnight. Prices increased by more than 20 cents to an average of $3.49 per gallon of unleaded gasoline. It’s been nearly 14 years since Kansans paid more than $4 per gallon of unleaded gas and there’s concern that this streak could end.

For Wichita drivers filling up Thursday, the latest jump adds to frustration from unleaded gas being more than $3 per gallon since October.

“I hope [prices] go back down because you know, everybody’s struggling because of the [coronavirus]. You know, it’s very hard,” Wichita driver Doris Metcalf said.

Prices for crude oil have also been increasing. The U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia are the world’s top oil producers.

“Crude oil makes up about 50 to 60% of the prices we see in a gallon of gas at the pump. So, as those prices rise through the 90s, even close to $100 a barrel (Thursday), that’s a significant rise from where we were last fall,” said AAA (Triple-A) Kansas Public Affairs Manager Shawn Steward.

Looking at gas prices over the last 20 years, AAA shows the three highest average monthly prices for unleaded gas for Kansas were in 2008 and 2012. During the summer of 2008, average prices hit $3.95 per gallon. The national average peaked at $4.09. The most recent point we’ve hit gas prices about $3.70 was in 2012.

“We’re still not to where we were in 2008, which was the high point. We reached mover $4 in July of that month for a short time,” Steward said. “Hopefully we won’t get that high this year, but that remains to be seen.”

If you’re trying to save at the gas pump, AAA advises shopping around and downloading mobile apps where you can see updated prices in your area, finding discounts at gas stations and making sure your car is tuned up with clean filters and properly inflated tires to help you get better gas mileage.

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