Continued strong crude oil prices are hitting Kansans at the gas pump this winter.
“Crude oil prices make up 50 to 60% of that price,” said Shawn Steward with AAA Kansas. “Right now, we’re looking at crude oil prices at or above $85 a barrel. That’s about $20 higher than what we were seeing in November. That’s the reason why, over the last couple of months, we’ve seen a general trend upward at the pumps.”
There’s no real relief in sight, either, as Omicron has not stopped people from driving.
“OPEC and its allies, as of now, don’t plan any kind of dramatic ramp up of oil output,” Steward said. “The result will be continued tight supply of oil. As you can imagine, that should keep gas prices fairly high.”
As of Saturday, the state average at $3.07 and the national average at $3.36. The world is also watching to see if Russia is aggressive toward Ukraine and how other nations react if that happens.
“Russia is a large supplier of crude oil,” Steward said. “Any interruption in supply, or potential interruption in supply, can drive prices upward. Hopefully, things will be resolved peacefully and we don’t have to worry about that, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind right now.”
OPEC+ is scheduled to meet Feb. 2.