State sees greatest drop in gas prices since ’08

  • Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 11:25 p.m.
    UPDATED: Thursday, October 25, 2012 7:49 a.m.
STAFF PHOTO BY AMY BANTON
Jacqueline Aiken fuels up at Murphy USA where regular gas  was $3.13 a gallon on Wednesday.
STAFF PHOTO BY AMY BANTON Jacqueline Aiken fuels up at Murphy USA where regular gas was $3.13 a gallon on Wednesday.

Residents were filling up Wednesday as gas prices have noticeably dropped in the last week.

According to AAA Carolinas, this state has seen the greatest one-week decline in gas prices since 2008. What makes this news even sweeter for Aiken is that the prices here were lower than Wednesday’s average of $3.36 in South Carolina. Prices as low as $3.13 a gallon were spotted on Wednesday.

“I didn’t even need gas today – I still have half a tank,” said Paulette Welsch, who was at Palmetto X on Hitchcock Parkway which had regular gas at $3.13 a gallon. “I can’t remember when I’ve last seen it that low.”

Tom Crosby with AAA Carolinas said prices vary in different communities around the state, and oil companies base it on many factors including tourist trends. For example, the price is $3.47 in Charleston and $3.32 in Myrtle Beach, he said.

Gas prices around the state have dropped around 27 cents since Sept. 14 when the average was $3.63, according to AAA Carolinas. The last time prices dropped more than 12 cents a gallon for regular unleaded gas was in the week of Nov. 25, 2008, when prices fell 13 cents in South Carolina, the AAA said.

Despite the lower prices, motorists are still paying 11 cents more than they did during this time last year.

According to a press release from AAA, the dramatic drop is from the decline in crude oil prices and fewer people are driving with the summer vacation season ending. Worries about the possible weakening of the global economy also contributed to the drop, and the U.S. dollar is stronger, the release read.

“The price drop is great news for drivers,” David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas, said in the press release. “However, the nature of gas pricing today mostly depends upon issues outside the U.S., like armed conflicts in oil-producing nations, the dollar’s value against the euro and the demand for oil in developing countries like China, India and Brazil.”

Crosby said, most likely, between now and Thanksgiving, there’s not a threat of a huge increase.

“Right now, the prices have been plummeting but that will probably start to slow and continue to inch down around the beginning of November,” Crosby said.

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