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US summer gasoline use expected up 1%, price down

Posted Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009, 12:32 pm in Employee News

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Tuesday that U.S. demand for gasoline during this summer’s driving season is expected to rise only 1 percent and average $2.23 a gallon, compared with $3.81 per gallon last summer, according to a Reuters report. U.S. gasoline consumption is expected to reach 9.1 million barrels a day, up from 9.0 million barrels a day last summer.

“Gasoline consumption last summer was low due to the high gas prices and hurricane related distribution problems, and consumption is not expected to begin showing consistent year-over-year growth until the third quarter,” the EIA said.

Crude oil costs for U.S. refiners are expected to average $52 a barrel this summer, down sharply from $116 a barrel last summer.

Ethanol that’s blended into gasoline is expected to rise to an average 670,000 barrels per day this summer from 635,000 last summer. EIA expects the growth in ethanol plant capacity will “slow dramatically” this year as lower gasoline prices depress ethanol production profits.

The EIA projects diesel fuel will average $2.27 per gallon this summer, down from $4.37 per gallon last summer. (Reuters)
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