A press release issued by AAA on Tuesday claimed that motorists are paying the highest turn-of-the-year gas prices since January of 2014.
The national average cost of gas as of January 3 is $2.34 per gallon and rising. According to aggregate data from GasBuddy, motorists paid an average of $2.15 for a gallon of gas on New Year’s Day in 2015 and $3.30 per gallon on that same day in 2014.
AAA attributed the rise in prices to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Companies and its decision to cut crude oil output for the first time in eight years. Non-OPEC countries have also agreed to limit oil production for the purpose of balancing global oil supplies.
According to Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Qatar’s minister of energy, “this agreement is out of a sense of responsibility” for nations that produce oil as well as the “well-being and health” of the world economy.
Approximately 2 million barrels of crude oil have been removed from production by OPEC and non-OPEC countries each day since January 1. This decrease in production enabled crude oil benchmarks to post their largest annual gains since 2009.
The average price of gas per gallon in North Carolina as of Tuesday is $2.26.
AAA noted that prices at the pump are likely to increase as springtime seasonal oil refinery maintenance approaches.