Last updated: August 24. 2014 10:36PM -

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Motorists in South Carolina are paying the lowest price at the pump in over a month and in July began paying less per gallon than a year ago. The downward trend is expected to continue, according to AAA Carolinas.

Gas prices in South Carolina average $3.24 per gallon, compared to $3.38 a month ago. North Carolina’s average today is $3.44, compared to $3.56 a month ago.

“Falling gas prices keep dollars in motorists’ wallets,” said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. “As we rely less on overseas oil and at the same time consume less at home with more fuel-efficient cars, we have a perfect storm for declining prices at the pump.”

Today’s average gas price in South Carolina is also 21 cents less than Memorial Day. Gas prices have declined primarily due to record-high domestic refinery production. There is an abundance of gasoline in the market, which has helped bring down prices despite conflicts overseas.

Gas prices are in good position for the remainder of the summer driving season as long as refinery production remains strong and oil costs do not rise due to unexpected issues.

One of the biggest threats to continued falling prices would be a major hurricane striking the U.S. Gulf Coast. Hurricanes, which have occurred in August, could disrupt oil production, refinery facilities and pipelines.

The Greenville-Spartanburg area has the state’s lowest average price for a gallon of gas at $3.18; Myrtle Beach is the highest at $3.31.

The national average saw the greatest gas price decline in six years for July. Today’s national average is $3.52.

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