Minnesota gas prices lower than they were last year, could fall even further

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MINNEAPOLIS — Gas prices in Minnesota are lower than they were during last year's Labor Day weekend, and analysts say they could fall even more this fall.

In the Twin Cities, the average gas price was $3.36 per gallon Friday, 20 cents lower than last year, the Star Tribune reported (http://strib.mn/VXKTJc ).

Nationally, gas prices are about $3.44 per gallon, the lowest price in late August since 2010, AAA said.

"I usually think of gas prices going up for Labor Day, so this is a nice surprise," said Maureen Putnam of Sartell, as she got gas at a Minneapolis station Thursday. "I drive 48 miles each way from Sartell to Princeton, so lower prices make me very happy."

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com, said gas prices typically rise for the holiday weekend, then fall until mid-November. He attributes current lower prices to high oil production in North America, lower demand and record summer refinery runs with few shutdowns.

He said barring refinery issues or geopolitical flare-ups, the Twin Cities could see gas prices below $3 this fall. That's more likely in Burnsville, Coon Rapids, Eagan, Maple Grove and Shakopee — areas that typically see the lowest gas prices in the metro.

Gas prices haven't been below $3 in the Twin Cities since February, he said.


Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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