Gas prices creeping upward

Gas prices creeping upward

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The price of gasoline rose more than 4 cents in the past week, according to GasBuddy.

The average price per gallon in the Natural State rose to $1.94. That's a 4.2 cents per gallon increase in last week's cost.

The increase compares with the national average, which rose 4.4 cents per gallon to $2.18.

Arkansans are paying 9.2 cents more per gallon than they did last year at this time, according to GasBuddy's historical data.

OPEC's threats to cut production at a recent meeting in Austria may be to blame for the sudden increase, according to Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

"Oil markets have bid up oil prices in a fury believing the agreement, which comes into force in January, is exactly what's needed to balance supply and demand," DeHaan said. "I, however, believe this rally represents a balloon that's filled with too much air and risks a correction (popping the balloon) that may be seen in due time."

While waiting for the balloon to burst, DeHaan said the rally in oil prices will lead to higher gasoline prices in much of the country over the next few weeks.

"From the east to the west, average prices could rise 5 to 15 cents a gallon, so motorists should plan accordingly," DeHaan said. "OPEC seems to be taking the role of the Grinch this holiday season. The era of low oil prices may be over for now."

To find and report low gas prices in your area, visit our Pump Patrol page.

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