MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — While GasBuddy experts predict the national average per gallon could reach $4.50, they say the cost is not likely to pass $4-a-gallon in South Carolina.

Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said he thinks there is an 85% chance that the average price-per-gallon average will pass $4. There’s about a 40% chance it could pass $4.50, he said. 

However, the price in South Carolina most likely will not reach that point, he said.

“It’s right next to a major pipeline; the colonial pipeline, that provides gasoline directly from the Gulf Coast, so that’s why prices are generally quite a bit lower in South Carolina,” De Haan said. “I really think it’s the low gasoline taxes.”

Currently, according to GasBuddy data, the average price per gallon for unleaded fuel is about $3.35 in Horry County. The national average is $3.54.

De Haan said implications from the deteriorating conditions between Russia and Ukraine could contribute to higher prices.

“Russia is the second-largest oil producer globally,” he said. “If sanctions start hitting them rather hard and Russia could feel like it’s up against a wall, if their economy is crippled because of the sanctions, Russia could say, ‘You know what, we’re not shipping any more crude oil.’ ”

Gas prices tend to rise between March and Memorial Day because refineries begin maintenance in the spring, which impacts supply, according to De Haan.

De Haan said he is hopeful that Americans will remember the chaos that ensued during last year’s Colonial Pipeline cyberattack and won’t panic at the pump as prices continue to rise.

“I think most of the reason we saw the disruptions that we did, the outages that we did, not because of the outages itself, but it’s because people were filling up plastic bags with gasoline and overwhelming the system,” he said.

To see the latest gas prices for your area, click here.