Even before OPEC agreed to cut its oil production for the first time in eight years on Wednesday, motorists in the Bradenton-Sarasota area, across the state and across the country were starting to see higher prices at the pump.
And with the announcement that OPEC will cut 1.2 million barrels a day from its present output starting in January, analysts say prices are only going to get higher.
Wednesday’s average price of $2.07 per gallon of regular unleaded in Bradenton-Sarasota was 4 cents higher than on Monday, according to AAA. Manatee County stations were averaging $2.06 on Wednesday, according to GasBuddy, up from $1.99 on Monday.
Moreover, with projections that the agreement could boost the cost of crude by $5 or more per barrel, prices at the pump are projected to climb by at least 13 cents per gallon in the coming weeks, AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said in a news release.
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“Now that the deal is official, there is potential for prices to move even higher, based on the rate that oil prices climb,” Jenkins said.
Nearby, the average in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater was at $2.04, up from $1.99 on Monday. Statewide, the average was $2.13, up from $2.09 two days earlier.
The national average was $2.15, up from $2.12 on Monday.
The move will leave OPEC output at 32.5 million barrels a day. The price of crude soared Wednesday to $49.86 per barrel, up 7.4 percent.