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Oil Surges as OPEC Unexpectedly Refuses to Increase Production

NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil prices are surging above $100 per barrel after OPEC unexpectedly announced that it will keep production levels where they are.

Analysts thought the 12-member group would boost production in an effort to cool off oil prices and take some pressure off the world economy. Increased global demand combined with violent uprisings in oil-rich countries of North Africa and the Middle East forced crude prices 25 percent higher from January to April.

Benchmark crude for July delivery rose $1.25 to $100.34 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude added $1.22 at $118 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Meanwhile, retail gasoline prices dropped another 1.3 cents overnight to a new national average of $3.748 per gallon.

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