Make us your home page

Summer gas prices expected to exceed last year's

NEW YORK — Americans will pay an average of 48 cents a gallon more for gasoline this summer than in 2009, but will nevertheless consume about 0.5 percent more of the automotive fuel after Memorial Day as the economy picks up steam, according to government projections released Tuesday.

The expected 20 percent jump in gasoline prices from last summer led the U.S. government's energy research arm to issue a cautious outlook for gasoline consumption in the 2010 summer driving season, the traditional height of highway travel in the world's largest market for fossil fuels.

A driver with a 15-gallon tank will pay an extra $7.20 to fill up, a cost that could weigh on some drivers' transportation plans, said Neil Gamson, an economist with the Energy Information Administration.

"For a teenager who doesn't have a lot of discretionary income, there's going to be some effect" on driving, Gamson said.

Prices aren't expected to change drastically from current prices, with gasoline seen at about $2.92 a gallon, with spikes up into the $3 range over parts of the country.

Currently, gasoline sells for an average of about $2.83 a gallon nationally, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge report.

In Florida, the average is $2.85, while in the Tampa Bay area, it is $2.80.

All told, Americans will consume about 9.164 million barrels of gasoline per day during the 2010 summer driving season, up from 9.119 million barrels in 2009.

That's an increase of about 0.5 percent, slower than last year's growth rate of 0.8 percent.

Retail price projections reflect higher prices for the refiner acquisition cost of crude oil, expected to average about $79 per barrel this summer compared with the $62-per-barrel average of last summer.

The EIA kept its forecast for world oil consumption this year at an increase of 1.5 million barrels per day in 2010.

It sees an increase of 1.6 million barrels per day in 2011, similar to last month's forecast.

Oil prices "will likely continue to firm and increase slightly in response to the global economic recovery," the EIA said.

Summer gas prices expected to exceed last year's 04/06/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 7:03am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, MarketWatch.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa International named among least expensive airports


    TAMPA — Florida airports apparently have a knack for getting it done cheaply.

    According to RewardExpert, Tampa International Airport is the fifth least expensive domestic airport. 
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
 file photo]

  2. Tampa-based vXchnge secures $200M loan to expand operations


    TAMPA — Tampa-based vXchnge, which operates data centers in 14 metro areas, has secured a loan for roughly $200 million for "major expansions and enhancements."

    Tampa-based vXchnge, a data center provider, secured a $200 million loan. Pictured is CEO Keith Olsen. | [Courtesy of vXchnge]
  3. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals


    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  4. Pinellas commission set to discuss next budget, licensing board

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Commission will be busy on Tuesday.

  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]