Ga., S.C. gas prices rise, but remain far below U.S. average

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 1:43 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Gas prices in Georgia and South Carolina are continuing to rise, with the average near or above $4.50 per gallon in each state.

Nationally, the average is much higher, standing at $5.01.

The Average Monday in Georgia is $4.48, up 19 cents in the past week. The average in Augusta is $4.40, up 13 cents in the past week.

Across the Savannah River in South Carolina, the average Monday is $4.61, up from $4.47 a week ago. In Aiken and Edgefield counties, gas costs an average of $4.54 per gallon on Monday, up 98 cents in the past week.

“For the first time ever, last week saw the national average reach the $5 per gallon mark, as nearly every one of the nation’s 50 states saw prices jump,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “For now, the upward momentum may slow down, but prices are still just one potential supply jolt away from heading even higher.”

The cheapest station in the state as of Monday morning posted a price of $3.65 while the highest was $5.09, a difference of $1.44 per gallon.

Why is the price rising?

Several factors are coming together to push gasoline prices higher.

Global oil prices have been rising — unevenly, but sharply overall — since December. The price of international crude has roughly doubled in that time, with the U.S. benchmark rising nearly as much, closing Friday at more than $120 a barrel.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting sanctions by the United States and its allies have contributed to the rise. Russia is a leading oil producer.

The United States is the world’s largest oil producer, but U.S. capacity to turn oil into gasoline is down 900,000 barrels of oil per day since the end of 2019, according to the Energy Department.

Tighter oil and gasoline supplies are hitting as energy consumption rises because of the economic recovery.

Analysts say there are no quick fixes; it’s a matter of supply and demand, and supply can’t be ramped up overnight.

It could be up to motorists themselves — by driving less, they would reduce demand and put downward pressure on prices.

“There has got to be some point where people start cutting back’ I just don’t know what the magic point is,” De Haan said.

“That’s the million-dollar question that nobody knows.”

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