Thursday, May 16, 2013
As Memorial Day approaches, Wichita gas prices took their second big jump in four days.
A KAKE viewer emailed us a photo Wednesday night showing a QuikTrip station offering regular unleaded gas for $3.79 a gallon. The viewer reported seeing this price at Webb and Harry in Southeast Wichita.
KAKE confirmed other QuikTrips followed that trend Thursday morning. We noticed a Valero station in northwest Wichita already at $3.79 earlier in the week.
We spoke with QuikTrip Corporation spokesperson Mike Thornbrugh this morning, who says there are a number of factors that are causing the huge gas spikes.
"You have pretty much record low gas inventories for what we call the midcontinent area which Kansas is part of," Thornbrugh said. "You've got a lot of loss of refinery productions, some of it was planned, some of it unplanned, then you also have the lack of timely pipeline supply coming from the Gulf Coast. So when you formulate and combine all these things, that's the perfect recipe for a huge price spike."
Thornbrugh says that for the Midwest to be the only area experiencing these increases is highly unusual.
"Quite frankly to have gasoline in Wichita Kansas more expensive than somewhere in Massachusetts, that ought to tell everybody that something's not quite right, the whole market's upside down," Thornbrugh said.
He continued by saying that it is very likely for prices to increase still over the next couple weeks. In fact, we have already been in contact with one gas station in Udall that is recording gas prices at over $4.00 a gallon.
QuikTrip led the last price increase across Wichita early Monday, going from about $3.50 to $3.65 for regular unleaded. A few stations held back at the time.