OPEC increasing output, but it may not lower gas prices


GRAND RAPID, Mich. (WOOD) — OPEC on Tuesday confirmed plans to return more than 2 million barrels of crude per day of oil output over the coming months.

Patrick DeHaan from GasBuddy.com says the decision has to do with the continuation of the economic recovery that’s going on.

“Not only the U.S. but globally, demand as we’ve seen, prices are going up. That’s on the heels of Americans that are filling up far more often. Demand over the Memorial Day weekend up 41% from a year ago. All of that demand is pushing oil higher, and that’s why OPEC is raising production,” DeHaan said.

Dehaan said the announcement was a bit disappointing.

“They previously said they were going to raise production months ago. These increases are a little bit slow compared to the pace of what we’re actually seeing with demand rebounding in the U.S. So if anything, only increasing by the expected amount is actually disappointing. And that’s why oil prices are jumping today.”

As for what West Michigan drivers can expect at the pump this summer, DeHaan expects things to look a lot like the summer of 2018.

“I think right now, we’re in the seventh inning stretch, so to speak, of the increases. We could go a little bit higher. (In 2018), averages hit $3.19 a gallon early in the summer before tapering off. There’s a potential that we have a little more upward room, but this should not be a summer where we see prices at three dollars the whole summer. This is going to be one of those things where it does pop up every now and then.”

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