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Despite declining costs, Fargo has highest gas prices in North Dakota

Prices in Fargo are 17 cents higher than Minot, the city with the lowest average gas price in the state.

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A customer filling their car up with gas in Fargo, the city with the highest gas prices in the state.
Finn Harrison
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FARGO — Have you ever wondered why prices can vary so much from town to town? The national average of a gallon of gas has been slowly decreasing. It stood at $4.52 per gallon as of Monday, July 18, nearly fifty cents less than it was a month ago.

While the national gas average has trended downward in recent weeks, Fargo has the highest gas prices of any city in North Dakota.

"That's something that we normally don't see," said Gene LaDoucer, director of Public Affairs at Fargo's branch of AAA.

LaDoucer said Fargo tends to have the lowest gas prices in the state, but right now Fargo's prices are about 17 cents higher than Minot's, which has the lowest gasoline average in the state. He cited a number of reasons for that, saying a lot of it is left up to retailers.

"When gasoline prices were near their record highs, Fargo had some of the lowest prices in the state at that point," he said. "So, now that they're coming down, they're just bringing their prices down a little bit slower (in Fargo)."

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The number of gas stations in a particular area also plays a role, and customer behavior also can affect prices. Some people might look around for the cheapest place to buy gas. Others, like Dave Phillips, of Moorhead, might just go to the first gas station they see.

"I don't research at all," Phillips said. "It's a near gas station. But in this case, I had to stop ... and pick up a few things."

LaDoucer said gas stations may lower their prices if customers take their business to places with cheaper gas.

"Then they'll have to drop their price to be remain competitive in that marketplace," he said.

People in Fargo looking to save money at the pump have options. There's about a forty-cent spread between the cheapest and most expensive stations in the city, and LaDoucer expects the prices to slowly continue to decline.

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