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Gas prices spike again after recent drop

After teasing consumers with a dip below $3 per gallon, prices at the pump have jumped more than 12 cents in the last week. Analysts blame refinery outages.

CHICAGO — The gas price roller coaster continues for drivers across Minnesota and the entire country, with the average cost of a gallon jumping more than 12 cents in the past week. 

Gas price app GasBuddy says its weekly survey of more than 1,100 stations across Minnesota shows motorists are paying an average of $3.12 per gallon as of Monday, Jan. 9. While that is up 12.3 cents from a week ago, prices are still 3.3 cents lower than they were a month ago. The cheapest station in the Twin Cities metro sits at $2.74 per gallon, while the most expensive is $3.49, a difference of 75 cents. That points out the importance of shopping prices, and not filling up out of desperation.   

In recent weeks prices at many stations across Minnesota dipped below the $3 mark, but have inched up. Analysts blame the creep on a late-December cold snap that impacted gas manufacturers. 

"Last week, the rise in gasoline prices continued, still due to previous refinery outages caused by the cold weather the week of Christmas," explained said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. "However, I'm optimistic that as refiners get back online, we could see the increases slow down as we head into the time of year when gasoline demand is at its weakest.  While gasoline prices have rallied, average diesel prices continue to drift lower, which certainly bodes well for the overall economy."

Gas Buddy reports that the national average price of diesel has fallen 2.1 cents in the last week, currently standing at $4.64 per gallon.

De Haan adds that any upcoming drop in gas prices will almost certainly be short-lived, as the annual spring/summer seasonal increase should kick in by late February or early March. 

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