Carolinians Begin to Feel Relief at The Pump as Independence Day Approaches
Thursday, June 28th, 2018
At $2.85, the national gas price average is five cents cheaper than a week ago, 12-cents less than a month ago, but 58-cents more than a year ago. Gas prices have consistently been declining since Memorial Day. On the week, 49 states saw pump prices drop.
North Carolina’s $2.66 average is down three cents on the week and 14 cents on the month. South Carolina’s $2.50 average is the cheapest average in the entire country and is down 3 cents on the week and 15 cents on the month.
Below is a breakdown of prices by region:
“We are hoping to see prices continue to decline or stabilize as we head into Independence Day travel,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “With close to two million Carolinians planning to celebrate the 4th with a road trip, some relief at the pump is much needed.”
Gas prices may be poised to drop even more following OPEC’s announcement that the cartel will increase production by 1 million b/d in the second half of 2018. However, that number may be revised closer to 600,000 b/d, as there is speculation that some producers – including Libya, Venezuela and Iran – will not be able to meet the quota increase. Regardless, the production increase is expected to decrease crude prices and in turn drive down gas prices later this year.
“The OPEC production increase will help to offset concerns of shrinking global supply caused by high global demand this year,” added Wright. “For drivers in the U.S., pump prices likely will not see an impact immediately. Changes, and most likely not dramatic ones, are anticipated to hit pump prices late summer or early fall.”
The cartel made the production decision after the U.S., China and India voiced support for an increase to prevent an oil deficit that could stifle economic growth in the latter half of 2018. The production increase will occur ahead of this December’s expected dissolution of OPEC's production reduction agreement, which has worked to reduce global oil supplies and increase the global price of crude since the beginning of 2017.