AAA: Gas Pump Prices Continue To Decline In The Carolinas

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (News Release) — Gas prices continue to decline after a rough week in the fuel market as crude oil prices sank to record lows last week.

Both North and South Carolina gas prices remain at 4-year lows, with North Carolina’s average at $1.65 per gallon and South Carolina’s average at $1.57 per gallon.

North Carolina’s average declined 3 cents on the week and is $1.09 cheaper than a year ago while South Carolina dropped 4 cents on the week and is $1 less than last year.

“Because of low demand we are continuing to see a downward trend in gas prices as Americans stay at home due to COVID-19,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA spokesperson. “Pump prices have consistently declined for nine weeks and we expect prices to decrease for at least another week.”

Because gasoline demand is down, refineries are making adjustments. More recently, U.S. refinery capacity has reduced from nearly 90 percent to now 68 percent and gasoline production out of the Gulf Coast is nearly 30 percent lower than this time last year.

Last week, the price of crude dropped by more than 300 percent, with prices dipping well into the negative. The record lows were brought on by concerns that the U.S. will soon run out of space to store excess fuel supplies. Energy experts believe global crude storage will reach capacity within the next 3 to 4 weeks unless output is dramatically reduced.

Crude oil prices returned to $16 per barrel as of Friday. The upswing was brought on by a new contract month, another U.S. stimulus package, and demand recovery in China. Renewed tensions between the U.S. and Iran also contributed to the increase in crude oil prices.

Today’s national average is $1.77, which is 4 cents less than last week and $1.11 less than a year ago.

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