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Gas prices are higher in Minnesota right now than they were before the pandemic hit last year-- and they're likely to head even higher.

One not-so-horrible thing about the pandemic last year was that, when everything shut down-- both here in Minnesota and across the globe-- demand for crude oil fell. And so did gas prices here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, hitting a low for the year in mid-April of around $1.65 a gallon.

That likely WON'T be the case this year, though. As the economy around the world continues to reopen, demand for oil is increasing-- and so are gas prices. They shot up here in Minnesota a few weeks ago after that freak winter storm hit Texas and the cold weather shut down refineries there for several days. (At one point, Rochester had the dubious distinction of having the highest-priced gas in Minnesota.)

Right now (as of Friday, March 5th) GasBuddy says prices in Rochester are averaging between $2.69 and $2.79 a gallon. That's pretty high, and is even higher than AAA says the national average is right now (which is $2.75 a gallon.) It's WAAY above last March 5th, before the pandemic hit, when prices were around $2.30 a gallon. In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Agency says we haven't seen gas prices this high in Minnesota since April of 2019.

And, CNBC and Reuters both say we'll probably continue to see rising gas prices as we get closer to spring and summer. They noted that OPEC Thursday voted to keep their production cuts in place into April, which, in turn, caused oil prices to rise. And that, of course, will no doubt show up as higher prices at the pump here in Minnesota in the coming weeks as well.

Speaking of gas prices, do you remember how cheap they were when you first started driving? (What did we do with all that extra money back then?!?) Keep scrolling to take a walk down memory lane and check out the price we paid when you first got your driver's license!

Listen to Curt St. John from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5
and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on 103.9 The Doc

UP NEXT: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

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