WASHINGTON - As contractors feel the impact of high gasoline prices this spring, the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Information Administration (EIA) has some bad news: Gasoline prices are expected to remain high through the summer.

According to the agency, high crude oil costs, strong gasoline demand, low gasoline inventories, and more stringent gasoline specifications will work together to create average retail prices of about $1.76 per gallon for regular grade, a record high. And the EIA warns that things could get worse if a major refinery or pipeline is unexpectedly shut down.

The EIA's latest "Short-Term Energy Outlook" projects a 1.4 percent increase in U.S. oil demand in 2004.

Publication date: 04/19/2004