Gas Prices (copy)

Gas prices tick down slightly in South Carolina and the nation ahead of the summer driving season. File/AP

Gasoline prices across South Carolina edged down again during the past week, maintaining the lowest cost for motor fuel in the nation.

The price dropped just under a penny to an average of $2.03 a gallon across the Palmetto State, according to gas price gauger GasBuddy. Motor club AAA puts the price nearly 2 cents lower. That's about 3 cents higher than last year at this time and about 10 cents lower than four weeks ago.

Nationally, the price fell half a cent during the past week to an average of $2.33 a gallon. That's about a dime more than this time last year.

"The national average gas price has again declined in the last week, but the road ahead may be a bit bumpier," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for

With the summer tourist season approaching, a pair of national and international developments could play on the price of gas.

"While the national average fell, several states in the Great Lakes saw average prices rise thanks to a mid-week rally in oil markets that saw oil prices sneak in a net gain for the first week in several, and that may impact prices in the week ahead," DeHaan said.

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The Energy Information Administration reported last week a larger-than-expected decline in oil and gasoline inventories. At the same time, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries talked about extending its crude oil production cuts.

"Watch both of these factors this week to get a taste for where prices will go to start the summer driving season," DeHaan said.

In South Carolina, the lowest average fuel prices can be found in the Greenville-Spartanburg area at $1.94 per gallon, according to AAA. Charleston-area motorists are paying the most for gasoline at an average of $2.08 per gallon.

The price in Columbia and Myrtle Beach on Monday averaged $2 per gallon, according to AAA.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524 or