CHARLOTTE, N.C. (News Release) — Gas price averages in the Carolinas rose on the week as the impact of Hurricane Ida, followed two weeks later by Hurricane Nicholas, slowed down oil production and refinery recovery along the Gulf Coast.
“We usually see less demand and lower prices at the pump during the post-Labor Day period,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “But this most recent hurricane just further complicated and slowed down the recovery from Ida. The price of crude oil also increased – paired with lower fuel supplies, those factors have definitely put upward pressure on pump prices lately.”
North Carolina’s current gas price average is $2.96, seeing a 1-cent increase on the week. This is 5 cents more expensive than a month ago and 94 cents more expensive than this time last year. South Carolina’s current gas price average is $2.91, seeing a 2-cent increase on the week. This is 3 cents more expensive than a month ago and $1.01 more expensive than this time last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $3.19, rising two cents on the week and matching a seven-year high last seen in early August. This average is $1.01 more than a year ago.
True to seasonal form, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports gasoline demand has fallen 8% to 8.9 million b/d, the lowest since Memorial Day.
Approximately 23% of offshore Gulf of Mexico oil production remains offline. However, most storm-affected refineries are reporting some level of restarting. Once fully back online, refinery production will help to increase domestic supply levels, which took another step back by 2 million bbl to 218 million bbl in EIA’s latest report. The tightened supply level has contributed to an increase in oil prices, which hit a high of $72 bbl last week, a level not seen since July. If the price of oil remains at this level or goes higher, it will likely result in higher prices at the pump.
Although crude prices decreased on the day due to a stronger dollar, prices primarily increased last week due to the market reacting to impacts from Hurricanes Ida and Nicholas.
Additionally, crude prices rose after EIA reported that total domestic crude inventories dropped by 6.5 million bbl to 417.4 million bbl. As crude production remains constrained and the price per barrel remains above $70, a level not seen since July, pump prices will likely remain elevated.
For updated state and metro prices log on to https://gasprices.aaa.com/
Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile
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The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 62 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.