DOE Says, Diesel Fuel Prices Will Be $3.85 a Gallon

Diesel fuel prices will average $3.85 a gallon this year and rise to $3.93 next year, the Department of Energy said in its monthly short-term energy outlook. In most cases we find the DOE to be conservative on their diesel fuel price forecast.

The 2012 forecast matches last month’s outlook, and the projection for next year was DOE’s first for 2013. It would be very good for the U.S. economy if they are correct about the diesel fuel pricing.

Fleet fuel averaged $3.84 last year, and in its most recent weekly survey released Monday, DOE said. Diesel fuel prices rose 4.5 cents to $3.828 a gallon for a national average. Fleet fueling first gain in seven weeks, that is a good thing. It keeps diesel fuel cards a little less active.

Gas prices will average $3.48 per gallon this year — 4 cents below last year — and rise to $3.55 in 2013, the report said. Again, good news for the economy because I think most Americans have become use to spending that for a gallon of gas. If gas prices headed to $4.00 a gallon, there would be issues for consumers.

This week’s price survey had gas prices rising 8.3 cents to $3.382 per gallon and the price has gained more than 15 cents in three weeks of gains following higher oil prices. I know I saw that when I used my fleet card at the pump the other day. There was no fuel savings coming to me from the last time I filled up except the fuel card has a rebate program built in so I did have some fuel savings. If I was a larger companies fleet manager, I am sure I would be sweating bullets waiting for my fleet cards invoice. Of course with a good fuel management program, the fuel savings would be coming through on that fleet card or some other method.

Oil will average about $100 per barrel this year, up $5 from 2011. Benchmark U.S. crude will rise to $106 by the end of next year, assuming U.S. real gross domestic growth of 1.8% this year and 2.5% in 2013, the outlook said.