WASHINGTON — Falling crude oil prices will help continue to push the retail price of gasoline lower this year and next, according to this month’s Short-Term Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
EIA expects that falling crude prices will help national average regular gasoline retail prices fall from an average of $3.63 per gallon in 2012 to annual averages of $3.44 per gallon in 2013 and $3.34 per gallon in 2014.
Diesel fuel retail prices averaged $3.97 per gallon during 2012 and are forecast to fall to an average of $3.87 per gallon in 2013 and $3.78 per gallon in 2014.
Meanwhile, the cost of natural gas is expected to go up, EIA reports. Working inventories, which were at record-high levels in early November, ended 2012 at an estimated 3.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), slightly above the level at the same time the previous year.
EIA expects the Henry Hub natural gas spot price, which averaged $4 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2011 and $2.75 per million MMBtu in 2012, to average $3.74 per MMBtu in 2013 and $3.90 per MMBtu in 2014.