The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released its Short-Term Energy Outlook, in which it projects the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil to average about $100-per-barrel in 2012 -- almost $6-per-barrel higher than last year's average price.
"Based on recent futures and options data, the market believes there is about a one-in-fifteen chance that the average WTI price in June 2012 will exceed $125 per barrel, and about a one-in-fifty chance that it would exceed $140 per barrel," states the report. "For 2013, EIA expects WTI prices to continue to rise, reaching $106 per barrel in the fourth quarter of next year."
EIA's forecast assumes that U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) grows by 2.0% in 2012 and 2.4% in 2013, while world real GDP (weighted by oil consumption) grows by 2.9% and 3.7% in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
EIA expects regular-grade motor gasoline retail prices to average $3.55 per gallon in 2012, compared with $3.53 cents per gallon last year, and then average $3.59 per gallon in 2013. "During the April through September peak driving season each year, prices are forecast to average about 7 cents per gallon higher than the annual average. Recent options and futures price data imply that the market believes that there is about a one-in-four chance that the U.S. average pump price of regular gasoline could exceed $4 in June of this year," it states.