ST. CLOUD -- Gas prices have climbed to an average price of $2.86 a gallon for regular unleaded in the St. Cloud area. But, if you drive only a few miles up the road, you might be able to find gas up to 15-cents cheaper per gallon.  Some prices at the pump in St. Cloud are currently as high as $2.94 a gallon.

Gas prices fluctuate from station to station at times, but according to the fuel price monitoring website GasBuddy, the area between Monticello and Sartell have some of the highest prices in the state.

Patrick DeHaan is a Petroleum Analyst for GasBuddy. He says it may be the result of when stores are refilling their tanks...

Currently, wholesale gas prices have been shooting up.  That, in and of itself, starts to lead to some of the disparities you're seeing as stations who are buying gasoline more recently are probably charging a higher price reflective of that higher that they themselves may be paying.

Meanwhile, DeHaan says the price drop we expect in the fall as refineries switch over to winter grade fuels has been absorbed with record high oil prices...

That price relief that we had initially expected is being intercepted by what's going on globally with the price of crude oil.  The rhetoric surrounding Iran sanctions (which are going to come back into force November 4th) and what that will do to global supply.  Seeing that supply go offline will likely shift that delicate balance of supply and demand.

DeHaan is not expecting any short-term relief with lower prices but doesn't expect gas over $3-a-gallon in the near future either.