Gas prices are up nearly a quarter from a week ago in the Twin Cities, with prices hitting $4.19 per gallon at stations in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the suburbs.
The Twin Cities average was sitting at $3.97 on Wednesday, up from $3.86 on Tuesday and $3.76 a week ago.
AAA expects we will pass our state average high by the end of the day Wednesday or on Thursday. The record average of $3.98 per gallon was set in July 2008.
$4.35 SPOTTED IN GOLDEN VALLEY
A price of $4.35 per gallon was reported at Feist Automotive at Lilac Drive and Duluth Street in Golden Valley.
WHY DID PRICES JUMP SO HIGH?
GasBuddy chief oil analyst Tom Kloza said there are three factors:
1. Typically low mid-spring inventories in some states.
2. The diversion of gasoline supply to Great Lakes markets that saw low refinery output.
3. A major turnaround for a refinery in East Tulsa that will remove some production from the Oklahoma and Kansas refineries that supply much of the gas and diesel for the Great Plains.
Complicating matters for Minnesota, AAA's Gail Weinholzer said two of the largest refineries that serve the Upper Midwest -- owned by BP and Exon -- are closed for maintenance and won't open back up until after Memorial Day.
"We will not see any significant decline before the middle of June," she predicted. "We may not see any significant decline before the Fourth of July."
WHERE'S THE CHEAPEST GAS?
Aside from Sam's Club and Costco members-only gas stations, the cheapest gas ($3.73) was spotted at the Get N Go station on Lexington Ave. and 85th Lane NE in Blaine.
A pair of Holiday stations in Shakopee and Prior Lake had gas at $3.74. Search for the lowest gas prices near you at http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/category/233804/gas-gauge
TWIN CITIES AVERAGE GAS PRICES
Last week: $3.76
Last month: $3.48
Last year: $3.69