HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - 2013 was South Carolina's second year with the lowest average gas price in the country, according to AAA Carolinas.
After a slight increase from 2011 of $3.31 to $3.35 in 2012, South Carolina has seen an 11 cent decrease for 2013, bringing the average gas price to $3.24 for the year.
President and CEO of AAA Carolinas, David E. Parsons, believes "increased refinery capacity, more fuel-efficient vehicles and higher production of North American crude oil helped push prices lower in 2013," and he anticipates these trends to continue in 2014.
South Carolina gas prices started 2013 at $3.15 on Jan. 1 and peaked for the year at $3.62 on Feb. 22. The lowest price for the year was $3.03 on Nov. 14.
Charleston at $3.29 was the highest annual average in South Carolina and the lowest was in Greenville/Spartanburg at $3.19. Myrtle Beach averaged $3.22.
The national average for 2013 was $3.49, down 11 cents from $3.60 in 2012. The current national average on January 2, 2014 is $3.30. Gas prices in South Carolina started 2014 at $3.12, and are expected to stay low during January.
Overall, gas prices are expected to average slightly less in 2014 as refineries continue to expand production capacity and increasingly rely on North American crude oil. However, unexpected global events or significant economic growth could result in higher prices.
To stay up-to-date on national price trends and area gas prices check out WMBF's local traffic Gas Price Corner or click on the link WMBF's Gas Price Corner.