Gasoline Prices Not Expected To Peak Until August
The current national average price for regular-grade gasoline in the United States is greater than $4 per gallon. It is projected to keep climbing until August, where the EIA says the national average will peak at $4.15.
For the year, regular-grade gasoline is expected to average $3.78 per gallon, or 97 cents above the 2007 average price. Diesel fuel retail prices in 2008 and 2009 are projected to average $4.32 per gallon, up from $2.88 per gallon in 2007.
Crude oil prices, which averaged $72 per barrel in 2007, are projected to average $122 per barrel in 2008 and $126 per barrel in 2009.
The EIA cites a combination of rising consumption, further downward revisions in the supply outlook for countries outside of OPEC, and low surplus production capacity. Ongoing geopolitical concerns in several producing countries, including Venezuela and Iran, have also contributed to oil price volatility.
Total natural gas consumption is expected to increase by 2.2 percent in 2008 and by 0.9 percent in 2009. Year-over-year increases in the residential, commercial and electric power sectors have been largely weather-driven.
In 2009, residential and commercial sector consumption is expected to decline slightly, while natural gas consumption for electricity generation is expected to increase by 2.5 percent.