U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Vehicle Technologies Office
EIA: High Oil Prices Contributing to Rising Gasoline Prices
March 9, 2005
With oil prices recently spiking above $50 per barrel, DOE's Energy
Information Administration (EIA) has revised upwards its projected
average oil price for the first quarter of 2005, to $48.70 per barrel.
That's a $2-per-barrel increase over last month's projection and a
$13-per-barrel increase since the first quarter of 2004. The EIA's
latest "Short-Term Energy Outlook," released on March 8th, finds that
despite growing oil inventories, a projected 2.5 percent growth in oil
demand per year will keep oil markets tight. As a result, the EIA
projects that oil prices will stay above $45 per barrel through 2006,
with the possibility of oil prices occasionally increasing well above
$50 per barrel, as they have recently.
With oil prices high and refineries running near their capacity, gasoline
prices have increased, with the average U.S. pump price for regular
gasoline hitting $2 per gallon on March 7th. Despite high inventories of
gasoline in the United States, growing demand is expected to cause
regular gasoline to average $2.10 at the pump from April to September,
the peak months for driving. That's a 20-cent increase over last
year's gasoline prices. See the EIA's "Short-Term Energy Outlook."
The figure commonly used for U.S. oil prices is the next-month futures
price for light, sweet crude oil as traded on the New York Mercantile
Exchange (NYMEX). See the latest NYMEX oil futures prices.