A month ago, there was a glimmer of hope for $1-a-gallon gas. Now $2 a gallon could be around the corner.
On Feb. 11, oil slumped to $26.21 a barrel. Kansas City area gasoline averaged $1.32 at the pump and there was a slim chance of a gas war driving it even lower, at least for a few days.
Instead, the price of oil has jumped 47 percent, to $38.50 a barrel Friday, and taking the price of gasoline with it.
A gallon of regular unleaded was averaging $1.79 in Kansas City, according to GasBuddy.com, up a dime from a week ago, and a few stations were at $1.99 on the Kansas side of the area, where the gas tax is higher.
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No one can say for sure it will reach $2. But if the price of oil keeps rising, gas is bound to follow. This is also the time of year refineries start switching over to making summer gasoline blends, and that usually pushes prices up a few cents.
Still, prices this year are expected to stay lower than last year’s prices, barring substantial and unexpected disruptions from overseas turmoil or domestic refinery outages. Gas in the area was averaging $2.27 a year ago.