Gas prices could jump as much as 15 cents as OPEC cuts oil production

Gasoline prices are relatively flat this week, but that could change.

Gasoline prices are rising after OPEC reaches deal.

Brace yourselves. Gas prices are projected to climb at least 13 cents a gallon and by as much as 15 cents in the next few weeks.

Motorists are already seeing higher prices at the pump this week, and prices will move even higher now, based on an agreement reached today, by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, AAA said Wednesday.

OPEC announced plans to cut crude oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day to 32.5 million a day, effective in January 2017. The shift is aimed at draining a global glut that led to lower fuel prices in the last two years.

“Now that the deal is official, there is potential for prices to move even higher, based on the rate that oil prices climb,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said.

Analysts believe the OPEC agreement could boost crude prices by $5 or more, which would directly lead to increases of at least 13 cents at the pump. Retail prices were already rising this week based on the expectation that a deal would be reached.

So far this week, average prices are up 3 cents in Florida, 2 cents in Tennessee, while Georgia’s average is unchanged.

However, Palm Beach County’s average remains unchanged Wednesday from a week ago, at $2.26 a gallon for regular, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.

Oil prices have risen almost $4 to over $49 a barrel, and wholesale gasoline shot up 10 cents on the NYMEX Wednesday morning.

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