GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – A promise from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, better known as OPEC, to hold back oil on the world markets was barely spoken when that translated to price hikes at the pumps where we stop – and a much more significant bump at the pump in the Triad than the rest of the nation.

Gasoline pumps will show this gallon of gas to cost more than a week ago. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline spiked last week in Greensboro: by 25.2 cents, to $3.49, if you track with, and by 22.3 cents, to $3.493, if you track with AAA gas prices.

But Winston-Salem saw its prices increase by roughly 27 cents, to $3.488, which GasBuddy says was the 49th highest increase in the country. AAA shows the increase at about the same, hitting $3.482.

Those increases ended about three months of price declines in the area and – perhaps catching up a bit – far exceeded the national averages, which GasBuddy says rose by 13.8 cents to $3.92 and AAA says is $3.919.

If you want to look statewide, GasBuddy shows North Carolina’s average to be the same as Greensboro’s $3.49, up 20.8 cents in a week. AAA has it at $3.504, an increase of 19.7 cents.

“With OPEC+ deciding to cut oil production by two million barrels a day, we’ve seen oil prices surge 20%, which is the primary factor in the national average rising for the third straight week,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a release. “Some of the refinery snags that have caused prices to surge in the West and Great Lakes appear to be improving, with prices in those two regions likely to inch down, even with OPEC’s decision, as the drop in wholesale prices has offset the rise due to the production cut.

“But where gas prices didn’t jump because of refinery issues, they will rise a total of 10-30 cents due to oil’s rise, and some areas are certainly seeing the jump already.”

GasBuddy says its survey of 150,000 gas stations across the country shows the average per gallon is 22.5 cents higher than a month ago and 67 cents higher than a year ago. AAA has those numbers at 7 cents and 44 cents, respectively. The national average price of diesel has increased by about 18 cents this past week to $5.04 per gallon (GasBuddy) and $4.836 (AAA).

GasBuddy said the cheapest gallon of gasoline it found in the Greensboro area was $3.07 per gallon, with a highest of $3.82. The lowest price in North Carolina was $2.99, and the highest was $5.49.

If you want to do a finer comparison, Durham’s average was 43.53, up by 14.3 cents.

Both GasBuddy and AAA showed North Carolina to have the 15th lowest average national and near the cheapest in a group of states – along with Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Missouri and Massachusetts, among others – in the second-cheapest tier, exceeded only by the swathe across the deep South (from Texas across to South Carolina).

Given the effect of OPEC’s announcement and the Russian-Ukraine war escalation, don’t expect anything better to happen soon.

“For now, I don’t expect much improvement in prices for most of the country, with California and the Great Lakes as the exception, with downdrafts likely in the days and weeks ahead,” De Haan said.

Historical trends

GasBuddy’s historical average gasoline prices for Oct. 10 in Greensboro and the national average going back a decade:

                    GSO           U.S.

2021:        $3.07        $3.25

2020:        $2.07        $2.18

2019:        $2.38        $2.64

2018:        $2.75        $2.91

2017:        $2.38        $2.46

2016:        $2.24        $2.25

2015:        $2.14        $2.32

2014:        $3.16        $3.23

2013:        $3.23        $3.34

2012:        $3.68        $3.81