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ONLY ON 3: As gas prices drop, why do they vary so much?

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: As gas prices drop, why do they vary so much?

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- As prices at the pumps continue to fall, you have probably noticed how varied they are throughout the Cape Fear.

Prices range from about $3.50 to as high as $3.80 a gallon for regular unleaded gas, so we checked out stations on both sides of the scale and asked why this is happening.

The Shell off US 421 sells gas for $3.79, so we went inside to ask why their prices are so high, while others are as much as 30 cents lower. The manager told us off camera that she had no control over the prices and was given a range to use based on competing stores.

On the other end of the scale, gas at the Sunoco on Dawson and 17th Streets is $3.51 a gallon. Cars were lined up. One customer said it's getting to the point of being dangerous.

"It's getting pretty bad," Mark Floyd said. "I think eventually they might need a police escort out here, because there have been a couple of arguments of people trying to get into the pumps, and then somebody pulls up when they realize someone else is in the spot, so I saw two arguments yesterday."

The manager at the Shell Station at 3rd and Red Cross Streets, where gas is $3.65 a gallon, says he also bases his price on competition, but says he is not given a range by his corporate boss. He usually just comes up with the price himself after driving around town to compare.

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