WASHINGTON - Prices for oil, gasoline, and natural gas are expected to remain high through 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The EIA's latest "Short-Term Energy Outlook" expects crude oil to average $63 per barrel this year and $60 per barrel in 2007. Retail regular gasoline prices, which averaged $2.27 per gallon in 2005, are projected to average $2.41 in 2006 and $2.33 in 2007. Regular gasoline currently averages about $2.33 per gallon, so the EIA projection calls for increasing prices.

And while spot prices for natural gas averaged $9 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) in 2005, the EIA expects them to average $9.80 per mcf in 2006 before dropping back to $8.84 per mcf in 2007. True to the forecast, crude oil spot prices have been hovering around $64 per barrel in recent weeks, according to EIA's "This Week in Petroleum" report.

Publication date: 01/30/2006