Following Labor Day weekend and the remnants of Hurricane Ida, gas prices in the Carolinas have climbed after the storm took about 13% of U.S. refinery capacity offline.
“Usually demand starts to decline during the fall which leads to less expensive gas prices, but motorists can expect to see some fluctuation at the pump this month,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “Although no re-start dates have been confirmed, refineries are expected to be back online this month.”
North Carolina’s current gas price average sits at $2.96, seeing a 6-cent increase on the week. This is 3 cents more expensive than a month ago and 88 cents more expensive than last year. South Carolina’s current gas price average sits at $2.89, seeing a 3-cent increase on the week. This is 1 cent more expensive than a month ago and 92 cents more expensive than last year. North Carolina is a part of the nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases.
The national gas price average has stabilized at $3.18, which is just 3 cents more expensive on the week. This average is the same as last month, but 96 cents more than a year ago.
Gasoline stock levels are currently at 227.2 million bbl, which is a healthy level. However, stock levels could tighten until refineries resume normal operations. Typically, a constraint on stocks would mean higher gas prices, but with demand expected to decrease going into the fall, price fluctuation should be minimal.
Although crude prices ended the day lower, on the week crude prices were boosted by a weak dollar and the release of government data that showed weekly unemployment claims had fallen to the lowest level since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. For this week, crude prices could continue to climb. Eighty-four percent of Gulf of Mexico oil production (1.526 million b/d) remains shuttered in the wake of Hurricane Ida, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. The downed production could put pressure on crude supplies and prices as the recovery and restoration process unfolds in the region.
For updated state and metro prices log on to https://gasprices.aaa.com/
About AAA – The Auto Club Group
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.