PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Drivers are in for a rude awakening in the coming weeks at the gas pump, and a crude oil giant is partially to blame.
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, announced over the weekend it is cutting back on production. The action will directly cut into your gas budget.
"It's expensive," said Luz Mendez from Southwest Philadelphia. "It doesn't matter where you go, it's expensive."
Mendez always prints her receipts at the pump. She worries prices will creep up to summer 2022 highs of over $5 a gallon.
"I stayed home, worked from home," she said of last summer.
We're not quite there yet, but AAA says the price of gas is rising.
In the US, the average cost per gallon is $3.51, up seven cents from a week ago. Philadelphia and its suburbs are averaging $3.49 a gallon, South Jersey is at $3.24 and Northern Delaware is at $3.36.
"I'm not quite worried yet because no one wants that. I'm just staying on the lookout," said Khaeija Brown from Southwest Philadelphia.
An even steeper price jump is expected. OPEC announced its cutting oil production by 1.6 million barrels per day starting in May.
"That announcement sent the price of crude oil up and we're seeing that trading above the $80 per barrel mark," explained AAA spokesperson Jana Tidwell.
The price of crude oil represents a 20% increase from a month ago and will have an immediate impact on the price of gas.
"The challenge is the announcement comes at a time we're looking at increased demand. Spring is here, people are out and about again. We're on the verge of the summer driving season," said Tidwell.
Drivers say if prices get too extreme again, it could impact their summer plans.
"Oil and gas definitely affect the rest of the economy because if people can't afford gas, things like that, your vacation spots start to dwindle down a little bit," said David Benjamin from Freehold, New Jersey.
As we move into the warmer months, suppliers will also be switching to summer-blend gasoline, which is more expensive.