Gas prices could fall under $3 by Christmas, expert says
OPEC+ agreed to increase oil supply by 400,000 barrels per day in January
A decline in gas prices is "picking up steam," according to an industry expert.
The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped 2.1 cents on Wednesday, which is "quite notable a move for the national average to fall over 2c/gal in one day," GasBuddy petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan told FOX Business.
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De Haan said it's "a sign that the downturn is picking up steam and more declines are coming."
De Haan projected that consumers may even see prices under $3.30 per gallon by early next week.
"The primary factor in my opinion behind the drop is the worry over omicron that plunged oil prices," De Haan said. "I see this going on at least a couple [of] weeks, barring major change."
On Thursday, OPEC and its allies – known collectively as OPEC+ – agreed to increase oil supply by 400,000 barrels per day in January, causing oil prices to plummet, according to De Haan.
"It's pushing oil down further and will likely lead to even lower gas prices," he said.
It could even push the national average to $2.99 per gallon by Christmas, "barring any changes in the omicron variant," according to De Haan.
The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose to $66.22 a barrel Thursday.
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Previously, OPEC+ has stuck to a plan to open the petroleum taps bit by bit — even as oil prices surged to seven-year highs — until deep production cuts made during the depths of the pandemic are restored.
However, Thursday's meeting fell on the backdrop of uncertainty over the omicron variant’s impact on the global economic recovery.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.