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Analyst: OPEC surprise driving jump at the pump

(Pablo)
Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 5:50 AM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - An analyst for GasBuddy.com says OPEC’s decision to extend oil production cuts drove up gasoline prices last week across the nation.

In Arkansas, gas rose 8.9 cents per gallon last week to an average of $2.57. That’s 36.1 cents more than what motorists paid a month ago, and 45.7 cents higher than a year ago.

The national average rose 3.4 cents in the last week to $2.77/gallon.

“OPEC surprised oil markets last week by extending oil production cuts for another month,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Markets responded by pushing oil prices up some 12%.”

He warned motorists should prepare for further gas price increases in the coming weeks and predicts the national average could reach $3 in less than a month.

“At the start of this year, it was somewhat outlandish to predict a $3 per gallon national average for the summer driving season, but thanks to the speed of recovery from the pandemic pushing demand higher and OPEC’s reluctance to raise oil production, we’re on the cusp of making that a reality,” De Haan said in a Monday news release.

De Haan said he’s “hopeful OPEC will see the error in their ways at next month’s meeting,” but advised consumers to “prepare for further increases.”

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