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gas prices

Every Wyo County Averaging Over $4 Per Gallon; AAA Predicts $6 Nationwide

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Gas prices in all of Wyoming’s 23 counties have reached an average of more than $4 per gallon in a trend that likely to not stop any time soon, according to a University of Wyoming professor.

While UW economics professor Rob Godby told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday he does not necessarily think the state’s gas prices will reach an average of $5 per gallon of gas by the end of the summer, he does think it possible for prices to inch closer toward $4.50 or more.

“Typically what happens in the summer is prices rise due to the increased demand for gasoline in any normal year,” he said. “Certainly, the supply conditions internationally have, if anything, only worsened.”

Despite oil prices dropping from the historically high levels seen earlier this year, gasoline and diesel prices have continued to climb, reflecting the pressure caused by shortages in the market, particularly in Europe due to the war between Russia and Ukraine.

This, Godby said, is the biggest reason for the internationally tight market for refined oil products such as diesel and gasoline.

“Oil is definitely more scarce on the market,” he said. “And not only does Russia sell unrefined crude oil, but they’re also a major seller of refined oil products like diesel fuel and gasoline, especially to Europe. So Europe’s decision to stop buying Russian oil has really tightened the market for diesel and to a lesser extent, gasoline.”

There is not sufficient oil refining capacity to fill the hole caused by the Russian war, Godby said. He added if the war were to end tomorrow, the market would still be tight for a while after.

As of Thursday, the national gas price average is $4.59, while Wyoming’s average gas price was $4.27, according to GasBuddy.com, which tracks gasoline prices across the country.

The AAA, which maintains similar records, is predicting prices nationally will hit $6 per gallon by the end of the summer.

Godby said that some areas of Wyoming, such as Teton County, could see $5 gas prices or higher by the end of the summer, but he did not believe the state as a whole would see prices that high.

“They don’t call economics a dismal science for no reason,” he said.

Congressional conservatives are blaming the policies of President Joe Biden for the gas price explosion. 

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, told Energy Secretary Janet Granholm on Thursday that as soon as the president assumed office, he “…re-entered the Paris Climate Accord, he canceled the Keystone Pipeline, he halted leasing programs in ANWAR, he issued a 60-day halt on all new oil & gas leases and drilling permits on federal lands and waters, and he imposed new regulations.”

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Officials Believe It’s ‘Unlikely’ Wyoming Gas Prices Will Hit $5

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Despite gas prices hitting a record peak last week, it is unlikely the price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline will hit $5 in Wyoming, two experts told Cowboy State Daily this week.

University of Wyoming economics Professor Rob Godby and Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association Executive Director Grier Bailey told Cowboy State Daily that barring some chaotic world event, neither believed that gas prices would increase all the way to $5.

Godby pointed out that although the gas price record was technically broken last week, if adjusted for inflation, the $4.11 high in 2008 would convert to about $5.20 today.

“So when you adjust for inflation, we’re still not at a record level, and we’d have to be over $5 a gallon to hit that level and feel the same impact the way we did 14 years ago when we hit the highest prices,” he told Cowboy State Daily on Monday. “

The professor did say it was possible for one, two or a handful of gas stations to set their prices at $5 per gallon or higher, but the statewide average will likely not cross the $5 line.

“Oil prices are hovering around $100 a barrel, so they’re beginning to settle down,” he said. “That reflects the fact that the world is coming to terms, a little bit, with the uncertainty of the war [between Russian and Ukraine]. There was a lot of panic-buying early on when we hit $130 per barrel.”

Godby noted that gas prices tend to go up faster than they come down, but added he expected the prices to level off, if not decrease somewhat, in coming weeks.

According to AAA, Wyoming’s average gas price was $4.02 per gallon Tuesday, with the most expensive prices being found in Uinta and Teton counties, more than $4.20 per gallon.

The national average for gas prices is $4.31 per gallon.

Bailey told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday that Wyoming gasoline prices are being kept relatively low by state policies.

“The Wyoming Legislature and administration have a balanced energy policy and the cost of fuels for Wyoming families and businesses should remain lower than the rest of the country,” he said. “Compared to states like Colorado, where the administration is likely to move forward with a 45-cent increase through state-supported federal action, Wyoming families can take comfort. The cost of crude oil remains the primary driver of prices, with a growing percentage exacerbated partially due to speculative commodity trading, which should abate as prices stabilize.”

Bailey added that the “silly and family-devastating prices” seen in states like California and Colorado were being skewed by “punitive and unnecessary” government regulation, which Wyoming’s policies guard against.

California’s gas price average is $5.75 per gallon on Tuesday, according to AAA. Nevada’s average gas prices were just a few cents short of $5 at $4.96 per gallon.

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Unlike Rest of Country, Wyoming Not Experiencing Gasoline Theft

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Gas prices have not yet reached such a high point that Wyoming residents are resorting to theft, multiple police departments told Cowboy State Daily this week.

Of the four departments contacted across Wyoming, only one had seen a report of a gas theft, contrary to reports from major communities elsewhere in the country that the crime is becoming a problem.

Cheyenne Police Department spokeswoman Lt. Alex Farkas told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday that officers had seen one report of gasoline theft, which came through Sunday.

“A hole was drilled into a resident’s gas tank,” Farkas said. “This does not appear to be a widespread issue in the community.”

The Casper, Gillette and Rock Springs police departments all told Cowboy State Daily they had not seen any reports of gas thefts from either residents or local gas stations in recent weeks, even though gas prices have continued to rise across Wyoming and the nation.

According to AAA, Wyoming’s average gas price on Tuesday was $4.02, while the national average was $4.31.

According to GasBuddy, a website that compiles gas prices across states, the cheapest price for regular unleaded gasoline in Wyoming was $3.60 per gallon in Buffalo.

Both Jackson and Evanston had some of the highest gas prices, around $4.29.

While Wyoming has not yet been hit by gas thieves, other states and large cities are seeing an increase of fuel-related thefts.

A family-owned gas station in Houston, Texas, lost out on nearly $5,000 after a thieves stole more than 1,000 gallons of fuel last week, according to the Daily Mail.

In Fresno, California, someone stole 20 gallons of gas out of a parked truck in a neighborhood.

A town in Washington has seen an increase in gas thefts over the last six months, with gas being stolen by being siphoned out of tanks or being drained through holes drilled into fuel tanks.

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AAA: Wyoming Has 10th Highest Gas Prices In Nation

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Little America, Cheyenne.

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming has the 10th most expensive gas prices in the United States, according to a report released by AAA this week.

Wyoming’s average gas price is $3.50, according to the AAA report. Colorado came in ninth with an average gas price of $3.53, Utah was seventh with $3.72 and California was number, with an average gas price of $4.40.

All of the 10 most expensive gas prices were found in western states.

Wyoming’s gas prices are around 30 cents higher than the national average, which is $3.20, a level not seen since October 2014, according to AAA.

“The probable causes for the increase are a slight uptick in demand and the high price of crude oil, which is stubbornly staying above $73 bbl,” the report said.

Monday’s national average of $3.20 is two cents more than a month ago and is $1.02 more than a year ago.

According to the Energy Information Administration, oil and natural gas production was lower than pre-pandemic levels during the same quarter in 2019. This tightened supply is helping keep crude prices above $73 per barrel and preventing pump prices from taking their usual seasonal swoon.

Despite the high prices in some areas across the state, not all of Wyoming is seeing gas prices that are quite so expensive. In Laramie and Buford, there are gas stations with prices as low as $2.97.

According to GasBuddy, a gasoline tracking website, Torrington’s gas prices are hovering around $3 per gallon, give or take a few cents. Wheatland and Sheridan also had gas prices around $3.15, just slightly under the national average.

Gillette’s gas prices were slightly under the state’s average, ranging from around $3.15 to $3.35 per gallon. The Rock Springs area was seeing around the national average for its prices, ranging from about $3.40 to $3.75 per gallon.

Gas stations in Teton County saw some of the higher prices in the state, with some gas stations in the area charging anywhere from $3.75 to more than $4.10 per gallon.

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Expert: Wyo Gas Prices Already Much Higher Than National Average Will Keep Going Up

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Gas prices in Wyoming — already the 10th highest in the country — will continue to move upward in the days leading into the Fourth of July weekend, according to a petroleum analyst.

Patrick De Haan, a petroleum analyst with the website/app Gas Buddy, told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday that he definitely expected gas prices to go up by the weekend.

“The average gas price in Wyoming is around $3.22 a gallon, and the state’s prices are higher than the national average,” De Haan said. “This isn’t uncommon for prices to go up around this time of the year, but they definitely have increased more in Wyoming in the last month or so.”

He added Wyoming’s gas prices are about 21 cents higher per gallon than the national average. At some gas stations, such as in Muddy Gap, gas is selling for around $4 per gallon.

De Haan noted that prices will be higher in certain tourist areas of Wyoming, such as Jackson and Cody.

The petroleum analyst expected gas prices to continue to increase as summer continued, peaking in late July. But once late August rolls around, prices will dip somewhat, he said.

“There won’t be a large decline, but it’ll definitely be noticeable in late summer and early fall,” he said.

Thankfully there won’t be any gas shortages this summer, but De Haan noted there might be delivery delays, where trucks are unable to deliver gas to a station in a timely manner. While he didn’t expect the delays to affect a gas station for more than a few hours or even a day, he thought people should be aware of it.

As with every other industry, there has been a shortage of employees to work as delivery drivers, although De Haan said this was occurring even before the coronavirus pandemic.

“There’s actually plenty of fuel, because refineries have been churning out more gas than ever before,” De Haan said. “But it’s the problem of getting the gas delivered in the last five to 50 miles. There aren’t enough truck drivers to deliver the fuel.”

People who are traveling out of Wyoming this weekend might actually get a deal on their gas, as De Haan noted gas prices in surrounding states, specifically South Dakota and Nebraska, are anywhere from 20 cents to 40 cents a gallon lower than in Wyoming.

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Wyoming Gas Prices Up 65% In Last Year; 4 Cent Increase in Last Week

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Little America, Cheyenne.

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

While Wyoming has not felt the sting of gasoline shortages seen in the last week in the eastern U.S., its gas prices are still rising in advance of the upcoming three-day holiday.

Figures provided in the regular report by GasBuddy.com, a company that tracks gasoline prices throughout the country, showed that the average price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline in Wyoming on Friday was about $2.97 per gallon, compared to a national average of almost $3.04.

Nationally, prices have gone up by 7.3 cents per gallon in the last week, due in part to disruptions in fuel deliveries caused by the shutdown of a major pipeline feeding the East Coast.

The rise in Wyoming has been less dramatic at 4.1 cents per gallon.

In the last month, Wyoming’s gas prices have increased by 8.3 cents per gallon, while the state has seen a 65% increase in gasoline prices in the last year, from $1.79 on May 14, 2020.

GasBuddy.com reported the demand for gasoline nationally has increased by 74.3% over this time in 2020, when much of the country was brought to a standstill by the coronavirus.

Aldo Vazquez, a spokesman for AAA Mountain West, told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday that demand created by the upcoming Memorial Day holiday will lead to increases in gas prices over the next two weeks.

Wyoming’s highest gas price was found in Teton County at almost $3.28 per gallon, while the lowest price was in Weston County at about $2.70 per gallon.

Nationally, Wyoming’s gasoline prices were the 20th highest in the nation.

The highest gas prices in the nation were in California, with an average of almost $4.13. Mississippi, with an average cost of almost $2.71 per gallon, had the lowest.

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Pipeline Shutdown Won’t Crank Prices in Wyoming

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By Jennifer Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming drivers will likely not feel the pinch at the pump that has hit many drivers throughout the eastern and southern United States following a weekend ransomware attack on the country’s largest gasoline pipeline.  

The Houston-based Colonial Pipeline, which supplies more than 45% of the fuel used on the East Coast, transports fuel from Texas to New York. When the company closed 5,500 miles of the pipeline following the attack as a precautionary measure, it affected 17 states, including the nation’s capital.

The shutdown led to a spike of up to 6 cents per gallon, bringing the national average price of gas to just under $3 per gallon this week, according to the AAA. The price is just 3 cents per gallon shy of the record fuel prices set in November 2014.

However, in Wyoming, most prices climbed by only 3 cents per gallon in the last week to average almost $2.98 per gallon.

Mark Larson, of the Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association, said Wyoming is in a good position to weather the impacts of the pipeline shutdown because it is home to four refineries and is a hub for a number of pipelines.

The larger concern for Larson is the cyberattack itself, which he said is the first such attack he’s seen in his 40 years in the industry.

“This is new normal type stuff that we haven’t seen before,” he said. “Infrastructure and cyberattacks have been on the forefront of national security for some time now,  but I was surprised that a pipeline could be impacted.”

Larson and Aldo Vazquez, a spokesman for AAA Mountain West, agreed that the upcoming Memorial Day holiday will have a larger impact on Wyoming’s gas prices.

With 90% of travelers on the weekend expected to drive to their destinations, the increased demand for gasoline will probably force prices up by about 2 cents per gallon, Vazquez said.

“Before the pipeline, AAA predicted that gas prices would increase regionally as summer travel gets underway,” he said.

As of Tuesday, gas prices throughout Wyoming averaged $2.98 per gallon with the cheapest prices at Maverik and Conoco in Newcastle at $2.44 and $2.49 per gallon, respectively, and $2.54 per gallon at a Maverik in Cheyenne.

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Wyoming Gas Prices Skyrocket; Up 23% From Last Year

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Gas prices in Wyoming have gone up by more than 39 cents per gallon in the last month, due largely to cold conditions in Texas and gas supply issues, according to a company that tracks gasoline prices across the country.

Daily figures from GasBuddy showed that the average price for a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline on Friday morning was about $2.65 per gallon, an increase of 39.3 cents from one month ago. The price increased by 22.8 cents from one year ago.

The increase in the last month would add about $6.79 to the cost of a trip from Cheyenne to Jackson in a car averaging 25 miles per gallon.

Wyoming’s gas price increase is higher than the national average of 29.5 cents seen nationally in the last month. The national average price of gas is about $2.76 per gallon, according to to the GasBuddy.

Gas prices across the country were affected for about eight weeks by cold weather that shut off power to large parts of Texas, the GasBuddy said.

Company analyst Patrick De Haan, in a news release, said the impact of the cold weather should be wearing off, but added a drop in gas supplies is now forcing prices up.

He noted that the demand for gasoline has increased with growth in travel as coronavirus cases decline.

“On the supply side, the number of oil rigs active in the U.S. stands nearly 50% lower than a year ago, which is a large factor driving prices up,” he said. “To put it simply, demand is recovering much, much faster than oil production levels, which is why oil prices have soared.”

Wyoming’s average price of gasoline increased from about $2.21 on Jan. 1 to $2.62 on March 1.

As of Friday, the lowest price of gas in the state was found in Weston County at $2.51 per gallon, followed by Albany County at almost $2.55.

Sublette County had the state’s highest gas price on Friday, nearly $2.90 per gallon, followed by Campbell County at almost $2.74.

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