Duluth gas prices low no moreWhat a difference two weeks makes to our pocket books. Duluth prices are up 57 cents, or about 17 percent, in two weeks, including a 20-cent increase from Wednesday to Thursday at some stations.
By: John Myers, Duluth News Tribune
What a difference two weeks makes to our pocket books.
On April 26 the News Tribune reported that several Duluth stations had the lowest gas prices in the state at $3.32 per gallon at a time when the Minnesota average was about $3.50 a gallon.
On Thursday, gas prices across the city had shot up to $3.89 a gallon, and in some cases as high as $3.99 for self-service regular unleaded, some of the most expensive gas in the state. The statewide average was about $3.79 a gallon Thursday night, according to MinnesotaGasPrices.com.
Duluth prices are up 57 cents, or about 17 percent, in two weeks, including a 20-cent increase from Wednesday to Thursday at some stations.
The national average Thursday was $3.57, according to GasBuddy.Com, which said gas prices have been generally rising nationally as the summer driving season approaches. AAA reported Monday that national gas prices rose last week for the first time in two months, albeit by only two cents.
The big, fast increase in Duluth may be in advance of the season’s first tourists — Minnesota anglers heading out for the fishing opener.
The gas price increase doesn’t appear to be related to national crude oil prices or supply, which have been steady, or gasoline inventories, which are up slightly.
But Flint Hills Resources’ Pine Bend Refinery in Rosemount, Minn., a major supplier of upper Midwest gasoline, was hit by a brief fire on May 3, the company said on May 6. The impact to production remains unclear.
“Part of your problem is that the Flint Hills Resources refinery (in the Twin Cities) is at least partially down for repair and that has caused some supply tightness in your part of the Midwest,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.Com. “Until they come back up to full production, you may see higher prices.”
DeHaan predicted prices will begin to drop in the region but probably not until after Memorial Day.