GasBuddy: National gas price could fall below $2/gallon this week

Gas prices continue to fall across South Carolina ahead of the holiday travel season.

In September, GasBuddy projected gasoline prices could fall below $2 a gallon nationally by Christmas.

Now, the gas price service is saying it could happen soon after an oil exporters meeting Friday left output at current levels.

“A $1.99 national average gasoline price could be something we witness this week,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided not to cut oil production during its meeting last week in Vienna, instead waiting for Iran to resume operations before looking at quotas next year.

“While we wait and see what that next meeting might bring, high oil production will likely continue to boost already record-high oil inventories, keeping gasoline prices somewhat subdued,” DeHaan said.

“The next 24 hours will likely see the national average drop to a new six-plus year low,” he said. “The U.S. average needs to fall just seven-tenths of a penny from its current $2.032 per gallon to be the lowest since March 25, 2009.”

Twenty-three states, including South Carolina, now offer average gasoline prices below $2 a gallon, according to motor club AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The Palmetto State is tied with Missouri for the lowest gas prices in the nation at $1.81 per gallon, according to AAA. GasBuddy puts the price a penny lower in South Carolina.

The price at the pump fell 1.4 cents in S.C. during the past week, according to GasBuddy. The national average remained unchanged but is 63 cents lower than this time last year. It’s down by the same amount in South Carolina over the past 12 months.

The current average price in the Charleston-North Charleston area is about $1.84 per gallon, the highest in the state, according to AAA. The lowest average price per gallon can be found in the Upstate at about $1.77.

Reach Warren L. Wise at (843) 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.