Diesel Price Going Up, Natural Gas Steady in USA


US Diesel retail prices trending upwards since 2002 (Source: US EIA)

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued its Short Term Energy Outlook update yesterday, which contained projections for diesel gallon cost: “On-highway diesel fuel retail prices, which averaged $2.99 per gallon in 2010, will average $3.43 per gallon and $3.51 per gallon, respectively, in 2011 and 2012.” Yet the day before, the Weekly U.S. No 2 Diesel Retail Sales by All Sellers (Dollars per Gallon) table showed that as at 7 February diesel was averaging $3.51 gallon across the country, already equaling the EIA 2012 projection.

This is the 10th week of consecutive diesel price increases; transportation decision makers must be wondering if the upward trend is once again heading for the July 2008 high point of $4.764 gallon.

US Natural Gas Price projections through 2012 (Source: US EIA)

By contrast the EIA says a higher updated estimate of domestic shale gas resources supports increased natural gas production at prices below those in last year’s Outlook. The price of natural gas is predicted to grow 1.1% in 2010-11 over the previous year, compared with 17.5% growth predicted for diesel.

To see details of this forecast update, go to www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/steo/pub/contents.html

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