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Gas prices in Chattanooga rose an average of 7.9 cents per gallon in the past week and could rise further with OPEC's decision last week to cut oil production.

Chattanooga gas prices averaged $1.93 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 gas outlets in Chattanooga. Local gas prices rose more than the national average last week but remained 25 cents per gallon below the U.S. average of $2.18 per gallon, gasoline price website GasBuddy.com said today.

Gas prices today were cheapest at a Raceway station on Highway 153 in Hixson, were regular gas is priced at $1.73 per gallon.

Chattanooga gas prices are still 3.3 cents per gallon below where they were a month ago but are up 18.9 cents per gallon from the same time a year ago. However, gas prices are still nearly a dollar a gallon cheaper than where they were three and four years ago.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said gas prices are likely to head higher heading into Christmas as retailers pass along higher prices for oil pushed higher by OPEC's decision last week to curb oil output. But DeHaan was skeptical that OPEC members will succeed in curbing production and pushing up prices over the long run.

"If I had a nickle for everytime OPEC said it was going to cut oil production, I could probably buy everyone free gas on Christmas," DeHaan said in a report today. "While OPEC signaled at its meeting in Vienna that it would cut crude oil production, it also created a committee to monitor the reduced production quotas — addressing the issue of cheating — an issue that has been pervasive for the organization. For now, oil markets have bid up oil prices in a fury believing the agreement, which comes in to force in January, is exactly what's needed to balance supply and demand. I, however, believe this rally represents a balloon that's filled with too much air and risks a correction (popping the balloon) that may be seen in due time."

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