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Published December 06, 2012, 03:08 PM

Grand Forks Resists Regional Gas Price Trends

Gas prices have decreased to $3 or less in Devils Lake and Fargo, but the trend hadn’t reached Grand Forks as of Wednesday.

By: Brandi Jewett, Grand Forks Herald

Gas prices have decreased to $3 or less in Devils Lake and Fargo, but the trend hadn’t reached Grand Forks as of Wednesday.

The lowest price per gallon for regular gas in the state was $2.99 at a Clark’s station in Devils Lake, according to Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com.

That’s a full 30 cents lower than Grand Forks’ most inexpensive gallon.

The lowest price advertised in Grand Forks came from Sam’s Club at $3.30 though gas at that store is only available to those paying for a membership.

Most other stations hovered at $3.39, according to NorthDakotaGasPrices.com, a website operated by GasBuddy where members can post local gas prices.

“It’s a pretty decent swing,” Laskoski said. “But it’ not out of the ordinary.”

Differences in gas prices across states can depend on several factors including how competitive the area market is, the distance from oil wholesalers or the difference in taxes charged by municipalities, according to Laskoski.

Roger Orchard, owner of Orchard Oil Company in Grand Forks, summed it up more simply.

“It’s a crazy market,” he said.

Orchard wasn’t sure why Devils Lake’s prices were low, but he did say he thinks Fargo prices are heavily influenced by competition.

“Fargo is a very competitive market,” he said. From talking with oil retailers he knows there, Orchard estimates they sell twice as much product in Fargo compared to Grand Forks.

“I feel like we really can’t compare Grand Forks to Fargo for anything,” he said.

While Grand Forks’ prices may seem high, the city isn’t the most expensive place in the state to purchase gas.

That title goes to Bismarck with one of its gas stations posting a price of $3.55, according to Laskoski. The AAA lists the city’s average price per gallon as $3.44 in its Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The report recorded Fargo’s average gas price as $3.17 and Grand Forks was $3.41.

Grand Forks average price does remain above the state and national average, which were both $3.38 Wednesday, according to AAA.

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