Diesel to Average $3.40 This Year, DOE Says



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 Updated:
1/11/2011 1:30:00 PM

The Department of Energy continued to boost its projected price of diesel fuel, saying it will average $3.40 this year — a jump of 17 cents from its forecast last month.

That’s up from a $2.99 average last year, DOE said in its monthly short-term energy outlook released Tuesday. The price will climb to an average $3.52 in 2012, DOE said.

Gasoline also will increase, to an average $3.17 this year, also up 17 cents from last month’s forecast. That’s up from a $2.78 average last year, DOE said, and the motor fuel will rise to average $3.29 next year.

“Rising crude oil prices are the primary reason for higher retail prices, but higher gasoline and distillate refining margins are also expected to contribute to higher retail prices,� the report said.

Oil prices, which averaged near $90 per in the past month, are up about $5 per from November on expectations of higher oil demand due to unusually cold weather in Europe and the U.S. Northeast, DOE said.

The department boosted its first-quarter 2011 oil forecast by $7 from last month’s report to $92 a barrel, and said crude will average $99 by the end of 2012. Crude will average $93 per barrel this year and $98 in 2012, DOE said.

Diesel and gasoline both rose in DOE’s most recent weekly survey released Monday — to $3.333 and $3.089 per gallon, respectively — hitting the highest levels in more than two years for a sixth consecutive week.

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© 2010, Transport Topics Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

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