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

August 10, 2005

EIA: High Crude Oil Prices Push Other Fuel Costs Higher

Crude oil prices averaged $59 per barrel in July, and DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) now expects oil prices to average more than $59 per barrel for the entire third quarter. The EIA's "Short-Term Energy Outlook," released on August 9th, anticipates oil prices exceeding $56 per barrel for the remainder of 2005 and throughout 2006, as worldwide spare production capacity is at its lowest level in three decades. The EIA expects motor fuel prices to stay well above $2 per gallon through 2006. With heating oil prices going up, the EIA projects heating oil prices to be 16 percent higher this winter. Natural gas prices are also rising. The EIA expects spot prices for natural gas to average $8.50 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) in the fourth quarter, up from $7.86 per mcf in July, but prices are expected to moderate in 2006, averaging $7.34 per mcf. See the EIA's "Short-Term Energy Outlook."

In recent days, oil prices have been at record highs, near $64 per barrel. As of August 9th, fuel prices hit record highs as well. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), regular unleaded gasoline averaged $2.354 per gallon on August 9th, and diesel fuel averaged $2.466. (The EIA report put gasoline prices higher, at an average of $2.37 on August 8th.) See the latest prices for light, sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange Web site, and for fuel prices, see the AAA's Fuel Gage Report.