Gas drops below $3 a gallon in Manhattan

By Megan Moser

Gas prices dipped below $3 in Manhattan on Tuesday, the lowest they’ve been in at least a year.

The change marks a downward trend across the country that experts say is related to low crude oil prices, less travel and a light hurricane season.

The lowest posted price on Wednesday morning was $2.96 per gallon for unleaded gasoline at Dillons, 2925 Claflin Road, according to, an independent website that gathers data on local fuel prices. Eleven other gas stations in town posted prices just under the $3 mark.

The numbers were slightly higher on AAA’s Fuel Price finder, which collects prices when members swipe their cards to pay for gasoline. The lowest price posted in Manhattan was $2.99, with an average in town of $3.04.

The average gas price for Kansas was $2.97 on Wednesday according to A week ago, the average price for the state was $3.04, and a month ago it was $3.23. That means prices have fallen 26 cents in a short amount of time.

Kansas has experienced the second-largest decline of any state in the past month except Montana, said Jim Hanni, executive vice president of AAA for the Kansas region.

There are several reasons for the decrease, Hanni said.

“Obviously crude oil prices now are extremely low,” he said at between $93 and $94 per barrel.  “Also, the economy has been fairly anemic. There’s not as much traveling going on right now, because we’re in the fall period here before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.”

Hanni also said demand is low and supplies are high because domestic gasoline production is very strong right now.

“So supplies are very good and demand is weak, mostly due to the economy,” he said. “And we’ve just switched over from summer to winter blends of fuels, which are less expensive to refine.”

Hanni said the light hurricane season also affected fuel prices. And low political tensions also keep prices low.

Nationally, the average was $3.24 on Wednesday. Hanni said that figure could go as low as $3.10, so we could see local gas prices go even lower

The 12-month high for Kansas was posted on July 3 of this year, at $3.72. The all-time high was in July 2008 at $4.80.

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