Average gas price passes record high in Fargo
The price for regular unleaded fuel reached a record high average in Fargo on Wednesday, while the statewide highs in Minnesota and North Dakota
FARGO — The average price of regular unleaded gasoline in Fargo reached a record high $4.185 per gallon early Wednesday, May 18, according to the AAA website.
A year ago, the average price of regular in Fargo was $2.798, according to the AAA website, which said the average price for regular unleaded gasoline across North Dakota stood at $4.148 per gallon early Wednesday, still below the record statewide average price of $4.238 a gallon set on May 22, 2013.
The average price for regular in Minnesota stood at $4.121 per gallon on Wednesday. The record average price of $4.275 per gallon in the state was set on May 20, 2013, according to the AAA website.
The average price for regular unleaded reached $4.162 per gallon early Wednesday in Moorhead, where the record price of $4.189 was set on May 19, 2013, according to AAA.
The high cost of oil is a major driver of the rise in pump prices, according to Andrew Gross, a AAA spokesman.
"Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year," he said.
According to a AAA analysis, pump prices will likely continue to climb as oil prices remain above $105 a barrel.
Lizzie Powell filled up her vehicle at the M&H convenience station in downtown Moorhead Wednesday morning.
"This is actually the first time I've filled up since prices went up, because I haven't been driving a whole lot since that," said Powell, adding that she had been planning to start riding her bike more as a way to save money.
"But my bike just got stolen," she said, noting she doesn't mind paying a bit more at the pump if it helps someone elsewhere in the world, a reference to the impact on gasoline prices from sanctions leveled at Russia in the wake of that country's invasion of Ukraine, a move that sent oil prices higher worldwide.
"I know it's hard for a lot of people," Powell said, referring to the ongoing rise in the price of gas.
Raul Gonzalez, who also filled up at the Moorhead gas station, said rising prices at the pump have prompted him to cut back on vacation plans.
"It takes a little bit more planning," he said.
Gene LaDoucer, spokesman for AAA in Fargo, said economic indicators like gasoline futures trading hint at more price increases to come, noting 40 states have higher gasoline prices than North Dakota.
While gasoline prices have been climbing since Russia invaded Ukraine, LaDoucer pointed out that the price for regular unleaded dropped below $3 a gallon in the Fargo area in November 2014 and didn't rise above $3 a gallon again until July 2021.
"We got a little bit spoiled," said LaDoucer, who added that when North Dakota set its record high average price for regular unleaded gasoline in May 2013, the region was experiencing a number of refinery issues that took supplies offline, mostly in the Midwest.
"We had a temporary spike there that didn't affect the national averages; it was kind of a regional issue," LaDoucer said.
Reporter Kassidy Wendt contributed to this report.