WASHINGTON - While prices for regular gasoline are currently flirting with $3 per gallon, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Information Administration (EIA) does not expect regular gasoline prices to maintain such a high average price over the course of any month this summer.

This Week in Petroleum, an EIA publication, examined the current trend in crude oil and gasoline prices and concluded that there is good reason for optimism. First, three refineries on the Gulf Coast are returning to service, which should ease supplies. Second, some refineries that are down for maintenance should return to service soon. Both these factors lead EIA to conclude that gasoline prices should soon be coming down.

However, uncertainty over crude oil supplies and any problems phasing out the MTBE additive could throw a wrench in the EIA's forecast.

Publication date: 05/01/2006