Eastern NC sees higher gas prices this month

Published 1:47 am Monday, April 17, 2017

Residents across eastern North Carolina may have noticed a change at the gas pump.

Over the course of the last two weeks, gas prices in the area jumped up by at least 10 cents and have since remained stagnant at the higher prices.

Officials in the fuel industry expect this trend to continue throughout the summer months, according to a press release from GasBuddy, a technology company that analyzes the gasoline market across America.

“North Carolina’s average price of gas is currently $2.30, 40 cents higher than the average a year ago. Asheville is paying the highest average price in the state at $2.33, while Wilmington is seeing the lowest average price at $2.25,” according to AAA of the Carolinas.

Patrick DeHaan, a GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst, said there are a few factors leading to higher prices: a jump in the prices of oil barrels; seasonal increases for the summer months; transition to “summer blends” of gasoline; and ongoing conflict in the Middle East, which is home to many major oil producers.

As of Saturday afternoon, average gas prices in Beaufort County had increased 5.5 cents since the week before, 13 cents since last month and 28 cents since last April, according to GasBuddy’s live update feed.

Officials with Speedway LLC and Shell Oil Co. did not respond to requests for comment on these market trends.

To help combat the rising prices, AAA of the Carolinas offers some tips:

  • Follow the speed limit and avoid accelerating or decelerating quickly;
  • Make sure tires are at the right pressure for maximized fuel economy;
  • Keep up with scheduled oil changes and air filter replacements;
  • Avoid excess weight in a vehicle, and try to avoid securing luggage to the roof of the car when traveling for vacation;
  • Consolidate trips and carpool when possible.