In several states, gasoline prices have dropped close to $2 for an average gallon of regular. And in some areas of these states, the price is already below that level.
The price of gas in South Carolina has dropped to $2. In three states, it is below $2.10: Mississippi, Alabama and Oklahoma are all at $2.09,
Prices in three places in South Carolina are at $2 or slightly below. The price is $1.99 in Spartanburg, and $2 in Greenville and Columbia. In most of these cities prices have been flat recently, according to GasBuddy.
Based on GasBuddy’s analysis of individual locations in these cities, some have gas prices as low at $1.80, and a number have prices well below $1.90.
The primary component of gas prices is oil, and the price of oil has hovered around $50 a barrel recently. Depending on news about OPEC plans on production and U.S. shale production levels, oil prices have fluctuated quickly over the past several weeks. Oil has traded below $46 in the past month, and as high as $51.47. It currently trades just below $49.
Forecasts of future oil prices have varied widely. Some predictions are for crude to drop as low as $20 if OPEC and certain large non-OPEC producers sharply increase production. However, OPEC recently said it would extend current production limits. The World Bank has forecast oil to reach above $60 a barrel in 2018. This is based on a prediction that OPEC eventually will cut production levels.
Among the other primary contributors to gas prices are state taxes and levies. The federal excise tax is $0.184 cents per gallon. The average state gas tax is $0.495. South Carolina’s tax is the second lowest in the country at $0.315. Most states have kept gas taxes flat for years.
If U.S. shale production continues to spike, and OPEC increases production even slightly, gas likely will drop below $2 a gallon in a large number of other areas across the United States.