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Gas prices higher as crude oil hits new high
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Gas prices higher as crude oil hits new high

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CHARLOTTE – Gas prices in the Carolinas have increased by almost a dime as supply tightens and crude oil hits an 11-month high.

“Despite a decrease in gasoline demand, pump prices in the Carolinas are still trending more expensive,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA-The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “Crude oil was pushed to its highest price last week and if crude prices remain high, motorists can expect to pay more at the pump this month.”

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North Carolina’s current gas price average sits at $2.19, seeing an 8-cent increase on the week. This average is 20 cents more expensive than a month ago, but 26 cents less than a year ago. South Carolina’s current gas price average sits at $2.10, seeing a 9-cent increase on the week. This average is 18 cents more expensive than a month ago, but 26 cents less than a year ago. Both North and South Carolina made the nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases – yet South Carolina still remains a part of the nation’s top 10 least expensive markets.

At $2.31, the national gas price average sits at its highest in 10 months. Today’s average is 6 cents more than last week, 16 cents more than a month ago, but 27 cents cheaper than last year.

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According to Energy Information Administration’s measurements, U.S. gasoline supply sits at 241 million bbl. While this is the healthiest measurement since August 2020, it is 10 million bbl less than the start of 2020 (251 million bbl) when COVID-19 concerns were minimal. This year-over-year deficit, combined with lower refinery production rates and ongoing refinery maintenance, is pushing crude and gas prices more expensive.

Crude prices increased last week after Saudi Arabia announced that it would cut its crude production by 1 million b/d in February and March. Additionally, increasing crude prices were supported by EIA’s weekly report revealing that total domestic crude inventories decreased by 8 million bbl to 485.5 million bbl last week. If total domestic crude supply drops again this week, crude prices could continue to increase and push pump prices higher.

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