The downward trend in gas prices could stop this week. Leaders of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) meet for their final gathering of the year Wednesday, and they're expected to cut production.
In Lubbock drivers have seen a slight increase already, with some reporting a 10-cent increase. Come Wednesday, analysts expect OPEC to cut production by as much as 2-million barrels per day. OPEC leaders say it's due to an over-supplied market.
They cut production in September and October, but it did not stop the drop in oil prices. Futures closed Monday near $44.50 a barrel. Compare that to this summer when prices reached around $150.00 a barrel.
Wednesday could mark the deepest oil supply cut ever to combat shrinking demand. Use dropped here in the U.S., in China and in Japan, which are the three largest oil consuming countries. OPEC is also looking to Russia to cut production, even though they are not part of the organization. Analysts say if Russia joins the cut, production could drop by 3-million barrels a day. Cutting that much could raise prices up to $75.00 a barrel, according to some experts.
OPEC says that right now, it would take more than half a year to remove the over-supply if they do cut production by 2-million barrels per day, but some analysts say demand could still drop, even with the cuts, and that would keep prices down. NewsChannel 11 will keep you updated on the OPEC meeting and continue to track gas prices on the South Plains.
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