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While U.S. gas prices averaged $2.29 a gallon, two cents above the numbers from two weeks ago, additional increases are unlikely, according to the Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations, reported Bloomberg News.
"Any further increases will probably be small," Trilby Lundberg told Bloomberg News. "In fact, prices might drop. In about a quarter of the cities we surveyed, prices did drop in the past two weeks."
The highest recorded price for self-serve regular gas was in Honolulu, where it averaged $2.74 a gallon. The cheapest gas can be found in Tulsa, Okla., where gas averaged $2.10 a gallon.
As the U.S. winter continues to be unseasonably warm, heating oil demand will fall, increasing stockpiles for the world's largest oil consumer, Bloomberg News reported. Temperatures may remain above average through Dec. 31, according to the National Weather Service.
"If we do get milder weather there is a chance prices will fall back below $60," Rob Henderson, market economist at National Australia Bank Ltd., told Bloomberg News. "Clearly that's worrying OPEC at the moment."
Wholesale gasoline futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped to its highest price in two weeks on Dec. 15, when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut production by half a million barrels a day, starting in February. On Dec. 15, crude oil futures for January delivery rose 92 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $63.43 a barrel. Since then, prices have fallen 28 cents, to $63.15 a barrel. Stockpiles of crude oil are 13 percent above the five-year average for the period, the report stated.
U.S. gasoline inventories are down 4.1 percent under the five year average for this time of year, reported Bloomberg News, citing data from the U.S. Energy Department. Over the past two months, gas inventories in the nation dropped 7.2 percent, while consumption for the past four months rose nearly 2 percent, to 9.33 million barrels a day, over the consumption from a year ago, Bloomberg News reported.