MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Gas prices have risen 8.0 cents per gallon in the past week in Myrtle Beach, averaging $2.63 a gallon, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 197 stations in the area.
Gas prices in Myrtle Beach are 31.1 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stand 63.9 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.
“As Americans turn optimistic on COVID-19 pandemic recovery, we’ve been seeing insatiable demand for gasoline, which continues to recover far faster than oil production,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Last week’s gasoline demand was just 1% below the pre-pandemic level, an extremely bullish factor likely to continue driving gas and oil prices up in the short term,”
It may feel like gas prices are high right now, but come summer you may be wishing these fuel prices would return.
Some of the rise this past week was attributable to the recent deep freeze in the South, which temporarily shut down production at about a dozen refineries in and around Texas. Resumption of production there could bring some temporary relief, but the long-term outlook is not as rosy.
Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey told the AP Sunday that gas prices will likely continue to rise as crude oil costs remain high. Analysts at Gas Buddy see a similar trajectory emerging.
“As we near spring weather, we’ll likely see another longer-term rise in prices begin as refineries start to transition to summer gasoline,” De Haan said.
De Haan told USA Today that $2.80 is a more likely average peak this spring, but Phil Flynn of the Price Futures Group told the paper the $3 mark is a real possibility. Even if the $3 average barrier isn’t broken, rising crude oil prices likely mean averages near $2 per gallon we saw last year are long gone.
“The era of low gasoline prices has ended and we are entering a new era of higher prices,” Flynn says.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.