Gas prices could rise as OPEC tightens supplies


Gas prices around the tri-state area showed little movement over the past week, but could rise in coming weeks, Wilmington-based AAA Mid-Atlantic reported.

AAA expects gas prices to increase in the coming weeks as crude inventories rose less than expected and gasoline supplies remain robust, according to the latest report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

“Local gas prices have been placed in park for a few days, without much movement in either direction,” says Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The key driver for gas prices is crude oil.If crude prices increase in the coming weeks, motorists will likely see a jump in prices at the pumps, as crude oil makes up more than 50 percent of the cost of a gallon of gasoline.

Market observers say the price gains indicate that the global crude supply is tightening, an expected result of OPEC’s production reduction agreement of 1.2 million barrels per day with other non-OPEC producers, including Russia.

The reduction remains in effect for the first six months of 2019. Additionally, the global crude supply is expected to tighten as a result of U.S.-imposed sanctions on crude exports from Venezuela.

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