The average gasoline price declined 2 cents in Palm Beach County in the last week, but motorists should expect to see prices increase at the pump this week.
Gas prices are forecast to bounce back in the wake of rising oil prices and an OPEC meeting set for Thursday.
Palm Beach County’s average for a gallon of regular stood at $2.57 Monday, down from $2.59 a week ago. Florida’s average was $2.46 Monday, down from $2.49 a week ago, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.
“When oil prices rise, it becomes more expensive to produce gasoline,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. “Prices at the pump are poised for an increase of 3-5 cents, based on current fundamentals. However, the oil and gasoline markets are likely to be volatile this week, and prices could face additional upward pressure as we creep closer to the OPEC meeting.”
Representatives of OPEC, Russia, and other oil producing countries are slated to decide whether to extend an agreement to reduce oil production levels by 1.8 million barrels per day. The current agreement expires at the end of the first quarter of 2018.
Preliminary reports are that the agreement could extend through the end of 2018. News of the potential extension helped crude oil reach $59.95 per barrel — the highest daily settlement since June 2015. West Texas Intermediate rose nearly $4 last week; an increase that would often result in a 10 cent increase at the pump, Jenkins said.
Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy agreed that gas prices are likely to rebound soon.
“OPEC’s decision may reverberate at pumps in the months and year ahead, and while the decision is likely to be an extension of production cuts made at their meeting a year ago, it’s certainly not yet guaranteed,” DeHaan said. “Global oil inventories have already tightened noticeably in the last year and continuing such in the face of rising demand may spur oil prices even higher in the days, weeks and months ahead.”
Here are the lowest gasoline prices in our area as reported on GasBuddy.com. Prices can change at any time.
Jupiter: $2.53, Marathon, 5490 Military Trail
Juno Beach: $2.43, Shell, 14731 U.S. 1
North Palm Beach: $2.35, Rocket Fuel, 100 N. Federal Highway
Palm Beach Gardens: $2.39, Sunoco, 2490 PGA Blvd.
Lake Park: $2.36, Marathon, 980 Northlake Blvd.; Speedway, 1216 Northlake Blvd.; RaceTrac, 200 N. Congress Ave.
Riviera Beach: $2.37, Mobil, E. Blue Heron Blvd. and East Way
West Palm Beach: $2.31, Sam’s Club, 4295 45th St.
Royal Palm Beach: $2.34, Costco, 11001 Southern Blvd.
Wellington, $2.41, Shell, 192 U.S. 441
Lake Worth: $2.33, Mobil, 7031 Jog Road
Lantana: $2.34, Costco, 1873 W. Lantana Road
Boynton Beach: $2.36, BJ’s, 1540 W. Boynton Beach Blvd.
Delray Beach: $2.32, Murphy USA, 16211 S. Military Trail
Boca Raton: $2.34, Costco, 17800 S. Congress Ave.