RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Drivers are getting their bang for their buck in the last week. Current gas prices are still forcing people to budget just how much they really need to use, and often, fuel isn’t something most can skip out on.

“I’m a contractor, so I have to be in certain places, but sometimes you can’t really manage it. This price is really high,” Raleigh driver Atef Omar said.

Good news is prices are looking better. In North Carolina,

  • Current average price per gallon: $3.89;
  • Month ago average price per gallon: $4.02;
  • Year ago average price per gallon: $2.63.

Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy said fuel in the U.S. is based on the global oil market.

President Joe Biden ordered the release of one million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve for six months in an effort to stabilize fuel costs.

“A lot of this is supply and demand and a president, a U.S. president has very little influence on that global supply and demand,” De Haan said.

De Haan also said, so far, the release of oil has had a minimal effect on prices.

He said it is hard to predict what will happen in the coming months and gas prices for Memorial Day or the summer travel season will depend on what is happening in Ukraine.

“It could end up being a little bit of a bumpy ride,” De Haan said. “Being able to accurately predict gas prices entails accurately predicting what will happen between Russia and Ukraine and we all know that’s basically impossible.”

On the brightside, we may have already seen the worst of it.

“If everything were to freeze, I think over time we could see another 15 to 25 cents decline over the next few weeks,” De Haan said.