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Gas prices plummeting

The fear of how much the price of gas will rise to is gone, at least for now.

Instead, the question is how low can gas prices fall.

Prices have plummeted over 30 cents per gallon in the past week in Detroit Lakes.

It follows a national trend with prices averaging $3.67 per gallon nationwide a month ago according to, with a drop to $3.28 per gallon as of Friday.

Even in the past week, national averages have dropped more than 20 cents per gallon.

M & H dropped its price for regular unleaded from $3.12 a gallon to $2.98 on Thursday. An 11-cent drop occurred on Friday morning with the price at $2.87 per gallon.

Murphy USA at Wal-Mart is also at the $2.87 per gallon mark. No gas station in Detroit Lakes was charging more than $2.89 per gallon as of Friday.

It's welcome news for motorists, but not unexpected.

Crude oil prices dropped below $80 per barrel at timed on Friday. The price has dropped more than 42 percent since the crude oil reached an all-time high in July.

The financial crisis is being blamed for the sudden drop. Several analysts say that they don't know how the crisis will affect demand, so they can't say how low the market could go.

The price of crude oil topped $147 per barrel just three months ago.

AAA Minnesota/Iowa spokeswoman Gail Weinholzer said that there are a couple of other factors at play as well.

She said that lower demand for gasoline that generally happens after Labor Day leads to lower price on a yearly basis.

Another reason is that offshore oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico and refineries along the Gulf Coast weren't hit very hard during hurricane season.

"They pretty much came out unscathed," Weinholzer said.

Prices aren't expected to remain low heading into Thanksgiving.

"It's a bit of a lull until we head into Thanksgiving and the Christmas season," Weinholzer said.

Prices across the state are even lower.

The lowest price in the state, according to, is in Cambridge at a Murphy USA station charging $2.70 per gallon.

In Moorhead, several stations were listed at $2.79 per gallon according to the same Web site.

The statewide average is listed at $2.93 per gallon, third lowest in the country.

Oklahoma drivers are paying the lowest per gallon at $2.78 and North Carolina has the highest rates in the lower 48 with a $3.53 per gallon average.

The lowest prices in Fargo are listed at $2.79 per gallon as listed by