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Gas prices on rise locally after OPEC cuts oil production

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.
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.

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.

“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.

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