WASHINGTON - With gasoline prices near record highs, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Information Administration (EIA) anticipates "a high likelihood" of additional price increases this spring, peaking at $1.83 per gallon for regular gasoline.

The EIA's "Short Term Energy Outlook" projects that summer gasoline prices will average $1.74 per gallon, which will be a record in nominal (non-inflation-adjusted) prices and the highest inflation-adjusted prices since 1985.

According to the EIA, a combination of low gasoline inventories, high crude oil prices, and rising demand is pushing gasoline prices higher. U.S. petroleum demand grew an estimated 1.6 percent in 2003, and is projected to increase another 1.1 percent in 2004.

Publication date: 03/15/2004