Gas prices continue to fall; average $1.95 in S.C.

Gasoline prices now average $1.95 a gallon in South Carolina after falling nearly 8 cents during the past week.

Palmetto State residents continue to enjoy falling gasoline prices.

The average retail price for a gallon of gasoline in South Carolina fell 7.9 cents during the past week, standing at $1.95 a gallon on Sunday, according to gas price gauger GasBuddy's survey of 3,028 gas outlets in the state.

The national average fell 5.4 cents during the past seven days to $2.12 a gallon.

The price is now nearly $1.15 per gallon lower in South Carolina than this time last year and nearly 45 cents less than a month ago.

The national average is down nearly $1.19 from a year ago and 48.6 cents lower than a month ago.

The average price for regular gasoline in the Charleston area was $1.98 a gallon on Monday, according to AAA. The Greenville-Spartanburg area posted the lowest prices in the state, averaging $1.88 a gallon.

"All in all, it wasn't a bad week for motorists filling their tanks," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.

Since last week, some 12,000 stations dropped their price under $2 per gallon, with 45.1 percent of all gas stations (nearly 61,000) now selling under the $2-per-gallon mark, DeHaan said. The national average currently stands at its lowest since May 9, 2009, a date that saw 8.9 percent unemployment.

"This time around, the drop in gasoline is far more joyous and isn't overshadowed by a polar plunge in the economy," he added.

The price for diesel fuel is now averaging below $3 a gallon for the first time since Oct. 2, 2010 and will likely drop another 25 cents to 50 cents per gallon, according to GasBuddy.

"Meanwhile, various domestic mid-continent crudes have dropped to the $30 per barrel range, or in the 'danger zone' - territory where oil companies are starting to cut back on operations - a zone that could ultimately result in a slingshot back in prices down the road," DeHaan noted in a statement.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.