KGOU

propane

Propane customer Shawn Davies vowed not to refill his tank until priced drop significantly.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Propane providers and Oklahoma officials say they hope to avoid the supply crisis during the upcoming winter season that led to huge price hikes last winter.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says Midwest propane inventories were higher going into this harvest season and two weeks ago supply was above the five-year average. In addition, propane wholesalers and retailers were told by industry and government officials three months ago to prepare for the worst, as a precaution.

After reaching a national average of just over $4 per gallon, and around $5 in some spots in the midwest, propane prices are falling, mainly because of lighter demand amid warming temperatures.

Still, though, the current average of $3.48 per gallon is more than a dollar higher than the price this time last year.

Propane customer Shawn Davies vowed not to refill his tank until priced drop significantly.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The 400,000 or so Oklahomans who rely on propane for heat know the routine: When the weather is warm, propane is cheap. When it gets cold, and demand goes up, so does the price.

But what happened this winter is unprecedented. Prices are starting to ease after blowing past all-time records in January, reaching a national average of more than $4 a gallon.

heater connected to a propane tank
zen / Flickr Creative Commons

For the 400,000 or so Oklahomans who rely on propane for home heating and food preparation, it’s been a rough few weeks.

Propane prices are skyrocketing — from a nationwide average of $2.76 in late December to more than $4 as of Friday, January 31.

K.G. Hawes / Flickr Creative Commons

About 400,000 mostly rural Oklahomans rely on propane to heat their homes, and demand for the fuel has skyrocketed along with prices, which are more than 50 cents higher than last year.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Tuesdayissued an executive order easing licensing requirements for propane truckers to address the shortage. Fifteen other states have issued similar orders.

Erin Stevenson O'Connor / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin has issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency to deal with a dwindling supply of propane in Oklahoma.

The order issued on Tuesday waives certain licensing requirements and other restrictions for those transporting propane in the state.

The brutally cold polar air that has descended across the United States has led to a spike in demand for propane, which an estimated 400,000 residents use to heat their homes, especially in rural areas.