The Energy Department sees only a 3 cents a gallon price increase for gasoline between now and the busy summer driving season, according to an Energy Information Administration (EIA) report issued today (April 8), CNN.com reports.
The EIA, a division of the U.S. Energy Department, estimates Americans will pay an average of $1.46 a gallon for gas this summer, which would be lower than last summer, but the third-highest on record.
The years 2001 and 2000 were the only ones when gas prices averaged more than $1.46 a gallon, according to the EIA.
Separately, the Lundberg Survey of more than 7,000 gas stations found self-serve, unleaded gas averaged $1.43 a gallon last week.
Both Lundberg and the EIA believe any additional gas price increases will be small because there is a “greater inventory cushion this year at the start of the driving season,” according to the EIA.
The government report was issued shortly after Iraq announced it will suspend oil exports for one month. Labor strife in oil-rich Venezuela also could restrict supplies and push prices higher.
However, oil industry analysts said Russia, Mexico, Norway and some Persian Gulf states could offset lower output from Iraq and Venezuela.
The chance of gas prices climbing higher this summer than last summer’s average of $1.54 a gallon are only “slight,” according to the EIA.