US: gas guzzling consumers might be in for a disappointment, OPEC is mulling price increase next year

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US auto sales have been strongly supported this year by the rather low gasoline prices as the global oil price has dropped to record low levels, and the main beneficiaries were the sales of larger, gas guzzling SUVs and pickup trucks. But the owners and prospective consumers of such models might need to reconsider their strategy because the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries announced it has introduced a new strategy that could result in higher prices for 2016. In the US the national average has held steady for almost two weeks at $2.29 per gallon, but has since started to surge to $2.31 per gallon. While the average is two cents per gallon higher compared to the week before, during the past 56 days the price has dropped for a total of 46 days by 36 cents per gallon. For the second consecutive week the retail averages have all fallen below $3 per gallon in every state, with California remaining the most expensive market for retail gasoline at $2.91 – but that is balanced by two states which have the average below $2 per gallon. Thanks to increased internal supplies, the US national average price is not forecasted to jump dramatically and if crude oil prices do not increase and no unexpected supply disruptions appear, the drivers could see the national average fall below 2 per gallon for the first time since 2009. The OPEC though expects the price of crude oil to surge starting with 2016 as it foresees more demand from its producing members than non-OPEC such as Europe, the Americas and Russia.