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Minnesota gas prices still falling but higher than last year

Average retail gasoline prices in Minnesota have fallen 2.9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.11/gallon yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 2,856 gas outlets in Minnesota. This compares with the national average that has fallen 1.8 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.21/gallon, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Minnesota during the past week, prices yesterday were 21.6 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 2.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has increased 1.2 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 1.1 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on Oct. 24 in Minnesota have ranged widely over the last five years:

$2.33/gallon in 2015, $3.08/gallon in 2014, $3.24/gallon in 2013, $3.46/gallon in 2012 and $3.46/gallon in 2011.

Areas nearby Minnesota and their current gas price climate:

Wisconsin--$2.14/g, down 4.8 cents per gallon from last week's $2.19/gallon. Fargo--$2.05/gallon, down 0.7 cents per gallon from last week's $2.06/gallon. Twin Cities--$2.12/gallon, down 3.2 cents per gallon from last week's $2.15/gallon.

"For the first week in the last 119 weeks (833 days), the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline stands higher than it did a year ago. The trend that has delivered consistently lower gas prices is showing signs of fading away as consistent discussion from both OPEC and non-OPEC members appears to be aligned for a likely production cut at the OPEC meeting in late November," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

"In terms of recent gas prices, it has been a bit of a mixed bag in the U.S., with the exception of Utah, the largest fifteen changes in gas price averages over the last week have all been lower. The Midwest has been the primary beneficiary as both unplanned maintenance and planned maintenance begin to wrap up, which is likely to be soon mirrored across much of the rest of the country, but OPEC's decision looms as a possible major impact to the market over the next month. If OPEC does follow through and cuts crude oil production, expect gas prices this winter to stay higher than last year. If OPEC doesn't cut production, gas prices would likely drop in many areas across the country. It's very difficult to gauge what the outcome may be given the agendas of various oil producing countries, but no matter, don't expect gas prices this winter to drop as low as last year, and certainly don't expect next summer's gas prices to be as low as this year," DeHaan added.

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