WASHINGTON - Contractors can expect gasoline prices to remain high throughout the summer. The price of regular gasoline is projected to average $2.28 per gallon through September, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The EIA's latest "Short Term Energy Outlook" forecasts the highest average cost to occur in May, when regular unleaded gasoline is projected to average $2.35 per gallon. A combination of high crude oil prices and refinery constraints is expected to keep gasoline prices high.

The report also expects crude oil prices to remain above $50 per barrel through 2006, averaging about $55 per barrel. Natural gas prices were also elevated in March, exceeding $7 per thousand cubic feet, a 26 percent gain over one year ago. Natural gas prices are expected to remain near this level through 2006.

Publication date: 04/18/2005