TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — High gas prices can vary depending on what part of the state you're in.
At a baseball game, on a cool, windy spring night in Tahlequah, some fans are shooting the breeze about gas prices.
“I’m pretty sure everybody’s sick and tired of gas prices where they’re at already.”
But drivers and baseball fans like AJ Kelly, who we found at the game, say they take a bigger price hit when filling up in their hometown. They say prices at the pump are generally 10 to 30 cents more a gallon in Tahlequah, other places, and to them, the prices seem off base.
“It’s definitely a question, I’m not sure why.”
So we asked the experts at Gas Buddy for some possible reasons.
“We’re in an incredibly volatile time, oil prices are up to $14 a barrel in the last week alone.”
Gas stations have to buy their supply at market prices, which Patrick De Han, at Gas Buddy says, they don’t control.
“If you get stuck buying at the peak, you could be spending 50 or 60 cents more a gallon than your competition.”
Passing it along, of course, to drivers. Generally, experts say gas stations, especially in larger areas, refill their underground tanks every 3 to 5 days.
And a lot can change in those few days, with all the significant headline-grabbing events happening across the country and around the world, that fuel the gas price roller coaster.
“Depending on the timing of the station purchase of that gasoline, they may be paying more or far less than their competition, and that can create those hot spots, and really highlight the importance of shopping around.”
The experts at Gas Buddy say if you fill up in a city, like Tulsa, for example, you can more easily avoid those price hot spots. But buying gas in smaller towns makes finding lower prices harder since you have fewer choices. That, experts say, can make a big difference.
“Well, it can. Generally, you’re selling less gas in more rural areas, so instead of a station filling up every 3 to 5 days, it could be every 1 to 2 weeks, and so the gas price difference between purchases could be significant there.”
And the shopping around part, is more difficult in smaller areas, folks in Tahlequah say.
Do you buy in your neighborhood, AJ Kelly asks, or drive out of your way, wasting gas, to find it cheaper? He calls it a lose-lose situation.
“It’s definitely frustrating, you have to plan your trips, you can’t just go, you have to plan for that.”
For some perspective, Gas Buddy says just one day in March, wholesale diesel prices jumped 75-cents one day, only to drop a dollar a gallon the next day.
See this full story Thursday on 2 News Oklahoma Today at 6 a.m.
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