COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- Average gas prices across the state fell by about a cent last week to $3.38 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.com.
The national average increased by 1.8 cents last week to $3.65 per gallon.
"The national average has stayed relatively flat for the last month, but that appears to be over, as the escalating situation in Iraq takes hold and drives crude oil and retail gasoline prices higher," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan.
According to the gas price tracking website, prices Sunday were 15.2 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 6.5 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has increased 2.6 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 3.7 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
"Motorists in some areas of the country have already seen slight price increases, and although the situation is still in its early stages, motorists should be ready for higher gasoline prices if the situation in Iraq threatens the ability of Iraq to export crude oil. While the U.S. only receives about 300,000 barrels of Iraqi crude per day, the concern is about the other 3 million or so barrels per day that Iraq pumps, which could be at risk of disruption," DeHaan said.
"It's that perceived threat that may cause the national average this week to rise 3-6 cents per gallon. The bigger picture here is that the timing of the situation in Iraq could threaten the possibility that motorists see lower prices this summer, as we had anticipated in our much earlier forecasts."