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Gas Prices Fall Below $3.20 in High Country While Other States See Prices Under $3 Per Gallon, Decline to Continue

For the past week, gas prices have been lower than $3.20 per gallon. Photo by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

Oct. 15, 2014. While gas prices aren’t under $3 dollars in the High Country like other regions in the United States, prices at the pump have steadily declined since June and are currently hovering under $3.20 cents in and around Boone. The price at the pump is even expected go lower, according to analysts.

AAA Fuel Gauge figures that North Carolina is averaging $3.14 cents per gallon of gas, which is more than 50 cents cheaper than North Carolina drivers saw earlier this summer. That amounts, for example, to paying $6 less to fill your 12-gallon tank and $9 less for your 18-gallon tank.

South Carolina motorists are seeing an average of $2.96, which is significantly lower than the $3.18 national average. South Carolina is among five others states – Oklahoma, Tennessee, Minnesota, Missouri and Mississippi – with statewide averages below $3 per gallon.

On Monday, AAA sent out a tweet that read: “30 percent of U.S. gas stations are selling gas for less than $3/gallon today – and prices continue to fall.”

AAA Fuel Gauge Map as of Wednesday afternoon.
AAA Fuel Gauge Map as of Wednesday afternoon.

“Gas prices typically decline from September through early winter due to a declining demand, as people drive less during the cooler months. Less expensive crude prices, abundant supplies, combined with a cheaper winter-blend fuel blend, should keep prices declining in the Carolinas,” AAA Carolinas noted in a release on Monday.

This decline is ahead of schedule compared to the “Short Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook” report that the U.S. Energy Information Administration released last week. Noting the falling crude oil prices, the U.S. EIA mentioned that it projected retail prices to decline to an average of $3.14 per gallon – two months from now.

Crude oil prices have fallen swiftly in a matter of days from around $94 per barrel to dipping below $84 per barrel last Friday.

“This is not your garden-variety autumn swoon in gasoline prices,” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for OPIS and price tracker GasBuddy.com, told CNN. “For some grades of crude, we are seeing the lowest prices since December 2010.”

Kloza mentioned that “virtually the entire lower 48” states should see gas under $3 per gallon somewhere in the state before the New Year.