AAA: Rising oil prices drag gas prices in Carolinas higher

Published 9:52 am Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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From AAA of the Carolinas:

Gas prices in the Carolinas are being elevated even higher by the rising cost of crude oil, as the U.S. price for crude increased 6 percent last week with global supplies struggling to meet demand. The potential increase in oil demand, coupled with lagging crude production, will only increase prices.

The gas price average in North Carolina rose 5 cents per gallon on the week, making the state’s average now $3.10 per gallon, which remains 15 cents less than the 2021 high of $3.25 per gallon. South Carolina’s gas price average rose 2 cents per gallon on the week, making the state’s average now $3.02 per gallon, which remains 16 cents less than their 2021 high of $3.18 per gallon.

“Oil is a key factor when it comes to gasoline and accounts for roughly half of what motorists pay at the pump,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “If crude prices are up, gas prices are likely to go up as well.”

So far this year, the U.S. price for crude has increased 10 percent going from $76 per barrel, back up to Friday’s settlement of nearly $84. The primary reason for the rise is the perception that the Omicron variant may ebb, allowing the world’s economic engines to kick into high gear.

Today’s national gas price average rose one cent on the week to $3.31, a penny more than a month ago and 93 cents more than a year ago.

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks rose by 7.9 million bbl last week. On the other hand, gasoline demand decreased to 7.91 million b/d. Winter weather and the COVID-19 omicron variant are the likely culprits behind this recent demand dip. Typically, pump prices decline due to lower gas demand and a rise in total stocks, but continued growth in the price of crude oil has helped to elevate pump prices. As oil prices continue to climb above $80 a barrel, pump prices will likely follow suit.

State Average Prices

  • Monday’s average price: $3.10 (North Carolina); $3.01 (South Carolina)
  • 2022 High: $3.10 (North Carolina); $3.03 (South Carolina)
  • 2022 Low: $3.05 (North Carolina); $3.00 (South Carolina)
  • 2021 High: $3.25 (North Carolina); $3.18 (South Carolina)
  • 2021 Low: $2.10 (North Carolina); $2.01 (South Carolina)

Ways to Save on Gasoline

  • Combine errands to limit driving time.
  • Shop around for the best gas prices in your community.
  • Consider paying cash. Some retailers charge extra per gallon for customers who pay with a credit card.
  • Remove excess weight in your vehicle.
  • Drive conservatively. Aggressive acceleration and speeding reduces fuel economy.
  • Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. An engine tune-up, new air filter and proper tire inflation can all help fuel economy.

For updated state and metro prices log on to