By DAN STRUMPF
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) raised its
2012 oil price forecast by more than $2/bbl to $100.25/bbl,
saying it assumes the US economy grows 1.8% this year.
The EIA issued the forecast in its monthly Short-Term Energy
Outlook, released Tuesday.
In last month's report, the EIA expected 2012 West Texas
Intermediate (WTI) crude to average $98/bbl.
The agency, a unit of the Department of Energy, also said it
expects WTI to continue rising, costing an average of
$103.75/bbl in 2013.
Those forecasts represent an increase from oil prices last
year, when WTI averaged $94.86/bbl according to the EIA.
Despite fluctuating for much of last year, WTI prices have
risen steadily over the last month, lifted by concerns about
Iran's nuclear program and the possibility of supply
On Tuesday, front-month February crude rose $1.14, or 1.1%,
to $102.45/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The agency said its forecast assumes US real gross domestic
product grows by 1.8% in 2012 and 2.5% next year. Global GDP
should grow 2.9% in 2012 and 3.8% in 2013.
Despite the forecast for higher crude prices, the EIA said it
expects US regular gasoline to average $3.48/gal in 2012. The
forecast is still 3 cents higher than the outlook for 2012
regular gasoline last month.
The agency expects regular gasoline in 2013 to rise to an
Diesel fuel is expected to run an average of $3.85/gal this
year, identical to last month's forecast and up a penny from
the 2011 average.
In 2013, diesel prices should rise to an average of
Dow Jones Newswires