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Motorists head to Virginia for gas

Posted October 7, 2008

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— With a statewide average of $3.79 a gallon, North Carolina currently has the highest gas prices of the mainland states. The prices have some North Carolinians near the Virginia border heading north to get prices up to 15 cents cheaper per gallon.

Anita Boyd is a cashier at a BP gas station along Interstate 85 in North Carolina located five miles from Virginia. The BP station charges $3.69 a gallon, but Boyd said many customers just spend a few dollars at the station.

“About maybe $6 or $7…enough to get them over to the Virginia line to get gas,” Boyd said.

Ron Fuller lives in North Carolina but filled up his gas tank in Virginia.

“Generally, Virginia’s gas is a little cheaper than North Carolina. So we waited until we crossed the border,” Fuller said.

In South Hill, Va., gas is anywhere from 10 to 15 cents cheaper.

Christine Brown is a clerk at a South Hill Exxon station that charges $3.59 a gallon. She said a lot of the customers in the area top off their tanks before crossing into North Carolina.

“They just want to be sure they can get through Carolina. And once they get into South Carolina, they don’t have the same problems,” Brown said.

AAA Carolinas spokeswoman Carol Gifford said the gas supply problem has a lot to do with the difference in price between the two states. North Carolina has been plagued by a gas shortage for nearly a month following damage to Gulf Coast oil facilities from hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The shortage caused some Triangle stations to sporadically run out of gas, either completely or of one or two fuel grades, over the past few weeks. Western areas were harder hit; only one in seven gas stations was open in Charlotte at one point.

On Tuesday, Gov. Mike Easley’s office said that no counties or cities were completely out of gasoline as supplies picked up.

The amount of gas running along the pipeline from the Gulf to North Carolina has been crimped since the hurricanes hit in mid September, and proximity to distribution points has played a large role in determining gas prices for certain areas.

“Even though gasoline is now flowing through the pipelines at more regular levels, it will take time to build up gas inventories at both the terminals and the tanks at individual gas stations. Until that happens, there are still likely to be sporadic gas outages,” Gifford said.


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  • Cajunwon Oct 8, 2008

    $0.10 cheaper in VA. Is it a coincidence that gas tax in VA is 0.38/gal and in NC is 0.48/gal. My 8yo can do that math. http://www.northcarolinagasprices.com/tax_info.aspx

  • Cajunwon Oct 8, 2008

    Are you kidding me? At least for the last 15 years, VA has always been more than $0.10 less than NC prices in general. This has nothing to do with delayed fuel delivery and more to do with higher fuel taxes. This story could have been run at any time of year for more than the last decade. Worthless news. How about a story about OIl prices down 40% yet pump prices only down 7-8% ?

  • 19tarheel75 Oct 8, 2008

    Buy from the your local "mom and pop" independently owned convenience store/gas station owners even if you have to pay a penny or two more. Never buy from The Pantry/Kangaroo. They are the problem!!!

  • rc4nc Oct 8, 2008

    On Sunday I had to go to 5 stations before I could get gas. One had premium only for $4.07 two had no gas 1 had lines 3 cars deep and several pumps that were out of order/no gas. Democrats have been running this state for too long.

  • ConcernedNCC Oct 8, 2008

    I want to say again, if enough people boycott Exxon-Mobile unless they are at least $.10 per gallon less than their competitors, they will be forced to lower prices to sell their gas. The competitors will be forced to do the same and the prices will drop significantly; oil companies claiming record profits after saying hardship caused them to go up will cease. This boycott should be permanent, not temporary, if we really want to punish the oil companies. If you want prices to drop, don't talk politics, talk companies. The taxes fix roads, not go to profit of individuals (barring corruption, that is).

  • Rangemaster Oct 8, 2008

    You don't have to be in Raleigh for high prices. Goldsboro this morning gas is $3.79 - $3.81 while in Kinston $3.43, Greenville $3.49 and Mt Olive $3.49. All of the stations owned by the same group. HESS. Guess Walter is making up the difference on the military families and keeping his profits high so he can get his name on another building at ECU.

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Oct 8, 2008

    How many of you fussing over NC gas prices have ever contacted your represenative? Whine all you want but NC has been a leader in at least one catagory, gas taxes!!! And you want to vote for another democrat.

  • FairPlay Oct 8, 2008

    It is just the triangle that is high, Sounds like gouging. Hillsborough had 3.35.

  • ConcernedNCC Oct 8, 2008

    Just a little math lesson. Say you get 30 MPG and you have a 15 gallon tank. You hear about a station that is 10 miles farther than your usual station that is selling for $.15 per gallon lower than your usual station. The round trip is 20 miles which takes 2/3 of a gallon for the trip. Buying 15 gallons saves you $2.25 on your tank fill-up. At $3.50 per gallon, the trip used $2.33 in gas. You lost $.08 to "save" on your gas. If your car gets 20 MPG you break even on a side trip less than 13 miles.
    The best way to save is to watch the stations that you normally pass each day and buy from the lowest along your normal route.
    By the way, if everybody refused to buy from Exxon or Mobile unless they were at least $.10 less per gallon than their competition, they would be forced to lower prices and the other stations would be forced to follow them in the reductions. We have the power to do it. All we have to do is unite against Exxon-Mobile.

  • terwin3 Oct 8, 2008

    Head to Mebane NC folks. There is a station on the corner of Buckhorn and Highway 7o that is selling gas for $3.52 a gallon and then the Sheetz is selling it for $3.49.