Oil prices pumped higher last week after OPEC extended production cuts for another month, perhaps paving the way for more gas price hikes and a national $3 per gallon price in about a month.

GasBuddy reports the move by OPEC surprised oil markets.

“As a result, motorists should prepare for further gas price increases in the weeks and potentially months ahead,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

Virginia gas prices have risen 3.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.66 per gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 4,081 stations in Virginia. Gas prices in Virginia are 32.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stand 47.3 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

The national average price has risen 3.4 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.77 a gallon. The national average is up 29.8 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands 41.1 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

“At the start of this year, it was somewhat outlandish to predict a $3 per gallon national average for the summer driving season, but thanks to the speed of recovery from the pandemic pushing demand higher and OPEC’s reluctance to raise oil production, we’re on the cusp of making that a reality,” De Haan said.

“It’s extremely frustrating as a consumer to feel helpless as prices soar and as millions remain unemployed, so the only advice I can offer consumers is prepare for further increases, and to mitigate rising prices, shop around for the low prices every time you need to refuel.”