NORTH CAROLINA, USA — For the past six weeks in a row, it’s been up, up, and up for gas prices all across the country. In Charlotte, the average gas price is a nickel higher than last week and about seven cents more expensive than this same time last year.
Experts attribute the gas price increase to a few factors including increased demand and not enough oil production.
“Prices are going up significantly not just because demand is up, but because Opec has cut production in the last 12 months because of the pandemic,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
Along with the pandemic, now more and more people are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, which also means more Americans are likely to be out on the roads.
Drivers like Kevin Stephens says he's certainly seeing the price difference at the gas pumps recently.
“It’s very expensive,” Stephens said. “I drive a lot and don’t get a lot of gas mileage.”
The extreme winter weather hitting parts of the Midwest and Texas could also have a lingering effect on oil production as well which could potentially increase gas prices even more.
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“Today we saw a fairly unprecedented amount of refineries in Texas having to shut down so that’s’ an impact that may come not necessarily overnight but in the days ahead,” De Haan.
GasBuddy adds it’s also important that drivers continue to shop around to find the lowest gas prices especially as the cost of gas continues to rise.