WASHINGTON – The U.S. Energy Information Administration issued its short-term energy outlook earlier this week, projecting the price of oil, gasoline, and diesel through the end of the year and into next year.
For regular-grade retail gasoline prices, EIA said they have fallen 46 cents per gallon from their peak monthly average of $3.91 in May to $3.45 per gallon in October. EIA said this drop in prices is a result of falling crude oil prices and a normal seasonal consumption decline. The organization projects that average regular-grade retail gasoline price will increase to $3.54 through the end of the year but will drop to an average of $3.46 per gallon in 2012.
In terms of gasoline consumption, EIA said it expects it to shrink by 220,000 barrels per day (bbl/d), or 2.4 percent, through the end of 2011. In 2012, the organization said it is projecting growth of 40,000 bbl/d, or 0.5 percent, as highway travel increases and the U.S. economy grows.
For on-highway diesel prices, EIA projects $3.84 per gallon on average through the end of 2011 and a drop to an average of $3.79 per gallon in 2012.
In terms of the cost of purchasing oil for refiners in the U.S, EIA said it expects it to stay flat, around $100 per barrel through the end of the year and into 2012.