(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) The U.S. Energy Department said Wednesday it expects U.S. retail gasoline prices to average 20 cents per gallon (3.8 liters) less in 2013 than this year.
The department‚„s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reorted the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline this week was 3.49, about 6 cents higher than the same time last year.
In its short-term energy outlook for November, the EIA said retail gasoline consumption has been relatively stable, largely due to improvements in fuel economy of new automobiles.
‚"EIA expects regular gasoline retail prices, which averaged 3.53 per gallon in 2011, to average 3.64 per gallon in 2012 and 3.44 per gallon in 2013,‚ the report said.
The Obama administration had considered tapping into strategic petroleum reserves early this year to help calm markets reacting to geopolitical concerns regarding Iran. Refinery closures in California in addition to the fallout from Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy caused regional spikes in retail gasoline prices.
In August, the administration finalized plans to increase long-term fuel-economy standards for passenger vehicles.