CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- South Carolina gas prices jumped double digits in the past week and experts predict the higher prices will stick around.

The state gas price rose by 18.3 cents in the last week and South Carolinians can expect to pay $3.13 per gallon at the pump on average, based on a survey from GasBuddy of 3,028 gas stations across the state.

Gas prices in South Carolina are 39.8 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stand 12.7 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

The survey found that the cheapest gas in the state is priced at $2.69 per gallon while the most expensive is $3.49 per gallon, a difference of $0.80 per gallon.

The national average price of gasoline has risen 11.3 cents, averaging $3.39 per gallon today. The national average is 30.2 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stands 7.3 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

Source: GasBuddy.com

“Gasoline prices continued their upward trajectory last week as oil prices pulled them higher across the majority of the country, and continued refinery challenges kept supply of gasoline from rising more substantially,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy said. “Macroeconomic factors have continued to weigh on oil and refined products, as strong demand in China hasn’t been slowed much by a surge in new Covid cases.”

De Haan added that release of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has wrapped which could be cause for concern.

“Concerns are increasing that without additional oil, supply will tighten in the weeks ahead, especially as the nation starts to move away from softer demand in the height of winter,” he said. “Moving forward, it doesn’t look good for motorists, with prices likely to continue accelerating.”

The national average price of diesel rose by 2.6 cents in the last week and now stands at $4.60 per gallon.