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Knoxville — OPEC oil ministers meeting in the United Arab Emirates have decided to boost crude oil production.

But a University of Tennessee-Chattanooga oil industry analyst said the cartel’s boost in oil production may lead to short-term increases in gasoline prices.

“Refineries are refusing to buy a lot of oil right now, because they’re afraid that if they buy oil now, and the price drops, they’ll be stuck with a lot of expensive oil,” Dr. Ziad Keilany said.

“So while oil production is rising, we may still have an increase in prices, as refineries let their oil reserves dwindle,” Keilany said.

Keilany said he suspects production may rise by a million barrels per day.

Prices for crude oil have approached $30 a barrel in recent weeks, up from $23 a barrel in November 1999.