The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has raised its projection for gasoline prices for 2012 to $3.79 per gallon, up from its estimate of $3.55 last month. In 2013, it expects gasoline prices to average $3.72, up from $3.59 last month. This compares to $3.53 in 2011. In its Short-Term Energy Outlook, the agency says during the summer driving season (April through September), prices are forecast to average about $3.92, with a peak of $3.96 in May.
EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil to average about $106 per barrel in 2012, $5 per barrel higher than in the previous outlook and $11 per barrel higher than the average price last year.
"Supply disruptions in the Middle East and Africa contributed to a significant increase in world crude oil prices during February," says the agency. "EIA has increased the forecast 2012 average cost of crude oil to U.S. refiners from $105 per barrel in last month’s Outlook to $115 per barrel. Constraints in transporting crude oil from the U.S. mid-continent region contribute to the expected continuing discount for WTI relative to other world crude oil prices."