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Area gas prices rise, expected to keep climbing

The price of gas is $3.14 in Dickinson, which is the highest it's been since October 2008.

Experts say that 2011 will be a record-breaking year for gas prices and residents and business owners are not happy.

"I'm sure no one feels good about the high gas prices," said Mary Kuhn of Dickinson.

She added it will affect her family's summer driving and how many times they take the camper out.

"The increase in gas prices hurts us just as much as it does the consumer," said Cy Fix, general manager of Cenex in Bismarck, Mandan and Dickinson. "Our in-store sales go down."

Lynne Wandrey, owner of Dodge Country Store, said the high gas prices affect her business, too.

"What affects us most is people limit their driving," Wandrey said.

The average retail price of gasoline in North Dakota has risen nearly 7 cents in the last week. The cost in Dickinson is about 11 cents higher than both the state and national averages, according to

It's not the first time Dickinson has had the highest prices in North Dakota.

Dickinson, along with many other cities on the western side of the state, experiences higher gas prices due to the proximity of gas line terminals, (the closest to Dickinson are in Mandan and Glendive, Mont.) lack of wholesale options and competition between retailers, according to an October Dickinson Press article.

"There is no indication that prices will be going down anytime soon," said Patrick Dehaan, senior petroleum analyst for "Instead they are expected to increase as the economy continues to recover and the demand continues to rise. It's going to be a painful spring. Prices may even break the 2008 records."

Dehaan said the increase can be attributed to many factors that all stem to improvements in the economy.

"Mostly the demand is high and as such the inventory of crude oil has dropped," Dehaan said.

Other industrial countries, like China, are also demanding more oil, he said.

Others disagree with Dehaan's reasoning.

Fix said high gas prices have less to do with supply and demand and more to do with the value of the U.S. dollar and investors buying commodities in the New York Stock Exchange.

"It's (high gas prices) just a bad deal and there is no reason for it. There is plenty of crude in the country," Fix said.