Gas price update

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have risen 8.9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.17/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. This compares with the national average that has increased 4.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.18/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 12.0 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 1.8 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 3.7 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 14.1 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on December 5 in Florida have ranged widely over the last five years: $2.05/g in 2015, $2.72/g in 2014, $3.43/g in 2013, $3.35/g in 2012 and $3.27/g in 2011.

“If I had a nickle for every time OPEC said it was going to cut oil production, I could probably buy everyone free gas on Christmas,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “While OPEC signaled at its meeting in Vienna that it would cut crude oil production, it also created a committee to monitor the reduced production quotas- addressing the issue of cheating- an issue that has been pervasive for the organization. For now, oil markets have bid up oil prices in a fury believing the agreement, which comes into force in January, is exactly what’s needed to balance supply and demand. I, however, believe this rally represents a balloon that’s filled with too much air and risks a correction (popping the balloon) that may be seen in due time.”

“But as I wait for the balloon to burst, the rally in oil prices will lead to higher gasoline prices in much of the country over the next couple of weeks as prices catch up to the feverish rise in oil prices. From the east to the west, average prices could rise 5-15 cents a gallon in the week ahead, so motorists should plan accordingly and expect in nearly all communities. OPEC seems to be taking the role of the Grinch this holiday season: the era of low oil prices may be over for now,” DeHaan said.