Prices at the pump are finally seeing some relief as the price of crude oil, which has been the main driver of rising gas prices this year, dropped 7% last week. This is the first real sign of weakness in the oil market in a month.
Half of the oil price drop was erased by the end of the week, as fuel demand continues to outpace global supplies. The latest decision by OPEC and its oil-producing allies to maintain their planned gradual increase in output will not help lessen supply constraints, so any relief will most likely have to come from the demand side.
“Gas prices could continue to decline this week with the recent decline in oil,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “But upward pressure remains in the oil market and prices are likely to remain elevated through the holiday season which will keep upward pressure on prices at the pump.”
South Carolina’s current gas price average is $3.16, having a 2-cent decline on the week. This is 16 cents more than a month ago and $1.35 more than last year. North Carolina’s current gas price average is $3.24, having a 1-cent decline on the week. This is 19 cents more than a month ago and $1.30 more than last year
The national average of $3.42 is 16 cents more than a month ago, $1.31 more than a year ago, and 80 cents more than in 2019
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 1.5 million bbl last week. However, gasoline demand rose from 9.32 million b/d to 9.5 million b/d. The slight increase in demand has contributed to price increases, while elevated crude prices continue to put upward market pressure on pump prices.
Although crude prices gained for the day due to a weakening dollar, crude prices mostly declined last week after EIA reported that total domestic crude supply increased by 3.3 million bbl last week. However, according to EIA’s data, the current storage level is approximately 10.4 percent lower than the same time the previous year. A tighter oil supply has helped to keep crude prices above $80 per barrel. This week, crude prices could decline again if EIA’s next weekly report shows another increase in total domestic supply.
For updated state and metro prices log on to https://gasprices.aaa.com/