Midwest Gas Prices Swell Ahead of Memorial Day

By TransportationFOXBusiness

Some drivers hitting the road this weekend for Memorial Day will notice higher gas prices compared with last year’s holiday, with the cost of making a trip to the pump showing sizable increases in the Midwest.

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According to GasBuddy.com, national average gasoline prices were $3.68 per gallon as of Friday. That’s about the same average recorded a year ago.

However, the Energy Information Agency said prices in the Midwest have swelled. In Minnesota, the average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded soared 81 cents, including a 44-cent jump between May 13 and May 20. The average price in the state now sits at $4.13 per gallon.

Price increases have also spread to North Dakota and other parts of the upper Midwest, a result of supply constraints connected to decreased refinery runs and lower gasoline inventories. Refinery utilization in the Midwest was recently at about 83% of capacity, below the U.S. average of 87%, according to the EIA.

Some counties in North Dakota are seeing prices in excess of $4.25 per gallon, with most drivers in the state paying at least $4.11 per gallon. North Dakota’s per-gallon average is $4.19, second only to   Hawaii’s $4.36.

Gas prices in Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa also rank among the 10 states with the highest per-gallon averages.

Nationally, prices have risen substantially in the last few months. Just over the last 30 days,  GasBuddy.com’s national average has risen 19 cents from about $3.49 per gallon.