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      Gas prices could head back up, expert says

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- While average retail gas prices fell across the state by nearly 2.5 cents last week, experts say the downward trend could be coming to an end.

      "The party at the pump with the seasonally lower prices may be temporarily over," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan.

      The average price across the state was $3.20 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.com. That's 19 cents less than one month ago and 37.2 cents below the average prices one year ago.

      Nationally, prices dropped by 1.6 cents to $3.49 per gallon, the website reports. The national average has decreased 13.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 32.2 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

      But supply issues across the country could see an end to those dipping gas prices.

      "We've seen situations unfold that have caused a reversal in the downward trend, and those situations are multiplying across portions of the U.S. and Canada. Along the West Coast, supply has grown tight and will lead to likely increases, and in the Great Lakes prices may spike 10-20c/gallon in the next two days in over a half dozen states as a result of a similar situation. Refineries are finishing what was an extensive maintenance season and with plant restarts commencing, problems may develop, putting pressure on prices," DeHaan said.

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