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

February 13, 2002

EIA: Expect a Rise in Gasoline Costs, Drop in Heating Cost

Crude oil prices are expected to gradually increase this year, pushing U.S. gasoline prices up too, says the latest "Short- Term Energy Outlook" from DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). Meanwhile, a mild winter is causing a low demand for heating fuels such as heating oil, propane and natural gas, causing a price slump for those fuels. The combination of a mild winter and a reduced energy demand due to the economic slowdown has allowed inventories of fuels to recover from last year's lows. The amount of natural gas in storage is high, causing lower prices and reduced drilling for natural gas. For gasoline prices, the combination of increased demand as the weather gets warmer and reduced OPEC oil production should push prices up about 15 cents by late spring, says EIA. See the EIA report.