The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says gasoline prices will peak in May at a monthly average of $4.01 per gallon. During the April-through-September summer driving season this year, it expects gasoline prices to average about $3.95 per gallon.
EIA expects gasoline prices to average around $3.81 per gallon in 2012 and $3.73 in 2013, compared to $3.53 in 2011.
Meanwhile, EIA has lowered the forecast 2012 average U.S. refiner acquisition cost of crude oil by $2 per barrel from last month’s Outlook to $112 per barrel -- still $10 per barrel higher than last year's average price. EIA expects the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil to average about $106 per barrel in 2012, the same as in last month’s Outlook but $11 per barrel higher than the average price last year. "Constraints in transporting crude oil from the U.S. midcontinent region contribute to the expected discount for WTI relative to other world crude oil prices," it says. "EIA expects WTI prices to remain relatively flat in 2013, averaging about $106 per barrel, while the average U.S. refiner acquisition cost of crude oil averages $110 per barrel."