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Gas prices up average of three cents in Minnesota

Average retail gasoline prices in Minnesota have risen 3.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $1.97/gallon yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 2,856 gas outlets in Minnesota. This compares with the national average that has fallen 1.3 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.12/gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Minnesota during the past week, prices yesterday were 0.6 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 12 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 9.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 7.7 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on Nov. 28 in Minnesota have ranged widely over the last five years: $1.97/gallon in 2015, $2.67/gallon in 2014, $3.09/gallon in 2013, $3.32/gallon in 2012 and $3.17/gallon in 2011.

Areas nearby Minnesota and their current gas price climate: Minnesota--$1.97/gallon, up 3.2 cents per gallon from last week's $1.94/gallon.

"Early last week WTI crude had climbed above $48 (per barrel) but was unable to hold on and in late trading Friday had slipped below $46," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. "And that probably ties directly to doubts about Iraq, Iran and the likelihood that Russia, the largest non-OPEC oil exporter, will agree only to a freeze and not a production cut of its own, which OPEC says is essential for the cartel to implement its plan to cut back by 1 million barrels per day."

Consequently, this week's highly anticipated meeting among OPEC members Wednesday in Vienna could be anticlimactic and fortuitous for U.S. consumers if no agreement is reached.

"Prices at the pump generally fall in December. In the last four years we've seen the U.S. average price of gas increase just once in December. In December 2013 the national average ended the month 5 cents higher than when it started. And it's also fallen precipitously...In December 2014 the national average plummeted 51 cents per gallon, from $2.75 to $2.24. Over the past four years the average decline from December 1 to December 31 has been 15 cents per gallon, and I'd have to think most of us would be pretty happy with that," Laskoski added.

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