Charlotte-area gas prices near six-year lows

Oil prices continued their tumble Thursday, driving the average price at the pump in the Charlotte area close to its lowest point in almost six years, according to AAA Carolinas.

At $2.09, the price for a gallon of regular gas in Charlotte is the lowest of all North Carolina metro averages. Asheville has the highest price at $2.28.

The state average price of gas has dropped two cents since Wednesday and is $2.17, the auto group reported, just above the national average of $2.18. South Carolina’s current average is $1.96 a gallon. According to AAA, the last time North Carolina’s average was below $2 was March 2009, and for South Carolina, May 2009.

Oil prices have fallen more than 50 percent over the last six months. The benchmark price for U.S. oil, West Texas Intermediate, was just over $47 a barrel midday Thursday, while Brent, the global benchmark was just over $49. If gas and oil prices remain at their current low levels, AAA anticipates consumers across the country could enjoy a savings of $50 to $75 billion in 2015.