Gas prices in NC under $2 per gallon; coronavirus a factor, officials say

An undated file photo of a gas pump.

Drivers are taking advantage of low gas prices in certain areas of North Carolina. 

The Sheetz on Falls of Neuse Road in Wake County had prices at $1.77 per gallon Saturday. Sams Club in Wake Forest had regular unleaded at $1.79 per gallon. 

You may have to go out of your way to the cheaper spots though because several gas stations across North Carolina are still above $2.20.

All gas prices include a tax of about 35.4 cents per gallon in North Carolina.

Falling gas prices are being partially attributed to the coronavirus. On Sunday, oil prices plunged 20% amid worries producers won’t cut supplies enough to match falling demand in the virus-weakened economy.

The price of a barrel of oil has fallen more than 25% since the start of the year, and 8% in the last month, with energy demand expected to shrink as the outbreak drags on the global economy.

“The trend of pump prices facing downward pressure is likely to continue through the end of the winter driving season, especially amid concerns about the coronavirus causing the price of crude to decline,” AAA Auto Club said Thursday.

The average gas price across North Carolina for regular is $2.21 while a year ago at this time a gallon cost $2.36, according to AAA.

Exxon Mobil also said Thursday it plans to reduce the number of oil rigs operating in an oil-rich region in the Southwest United States and may cut planned capital expenditures as the spreading coronavirus saps energy demand.

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Oil prices were already under pressure due. Energy demand dropped dramatically as flights to and from China were halted and factories slowed production.