Charlotte gas prices continue to fall

As is the case nationwide, Charlotte drivers are starting to see some relief at the gas pump.

The average price of gas in the Charlotte metro area is $2.310, down from $2.314 on Monday and $2.328 a week prior, according to auto group AAA.

Charlotte’s gas is still cheaper than the state and national average. North Carolina’s average gas price is $2.323, up slightly from $2.329 Monday but below $2.348 last week. The U.S. average price at the pump is $2.415 a gallon, compared with Monday’s $2.424 a gallon and last week’s $2.448 a gallon.

At $2.317 a gallon, South Carolina has the cheapest gas in the country.

Nationwide gas prices have fallen for 10 days straight thanks in part to low crude oil prices, which fell by more than 10 percent last week because of abundant supply, a stronger U.S. dollar and the possibility of even more oil entering the market, AAA said in a release Monday. U.S. crude oil also fell to a six-year low on Monday.

It’s also not unusual for the national average price of gas to increase this time of the year as refineries undergo scheduled maintenance, which can slow fuel production. Refineries are also starting to switch over to summer-blend fuel ahead of the May 1 deadline.

AAA said gas prices should remain relatively cheap given the lower cost and increased inventory of oil. The possibility of a geopolitical unrest in major production areas also will keep oil prices volatile in the short-term. Every $10 per barrel drop in the cost of crude oil, AAA said, can send gas prices down by nearly 25 cents a gallon.

As of early Tuesday, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude, the domestic benchmark, was about $43 a barrel, a six-year low, while Brent crude, the international benchmark, cost about $53 a barrel.

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Twitter: @katieperalta