This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 15, 2009

EIA Expects Gasoline Prices to Rise Moderately by Summer

Average U.S. retail prices for regular gasoline are expected to average $2.23 per gallon during the so-called "summer driving season," which runs from April through September. That's the latest projection from DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA), which released its "Summer Fuels Outlook" on April 14, as part of its monthly "Short-Term Energy Outlook." The $2.23 per gallon figure represents an increase from today's price of roughly $2.05 per gallon, but it's still nearly $1.60 per gallon lower than during last year's driving season. The monthly average price of regular gasoline is expected to peak at $2.30 per gallon this summer, according to the EIA. Meanwhile, a continued lack of demand for diesel fuel may push its price below that of gasoline this summer.

From a global perspective, the worldwide demand for oil is expected to drop by 1.35 million barrels per day in 2009, with a drop of 1.6 million barrels per day in highly developed countries offset by an increase of 270,000 barrels per day in developing countries. Assuming that the world economy begins to recover in 2010, world oil consumption is expected to grow by 1.1 million barrels per day by the end of that year, which will still leave global demand lower than when this year began. With the drop in demand, oil prices dropped from an average of $100 per barrel in 2008 to a projected average of $53 per barrel this year. Prices are expected to increase only slightly in 2010, reaching an average of $63 per barrel. See the EIA's "Short-Term Energy Outlook," as well as the EIA's latest gasoline and diesel fuel prices.