$3.53 gas for the summer, Energy Dept. says

June 12, 2013 at 8:10 AM

WASHINGTON, June 12 (UPI) -- U.S. consumers can expect to pay an average $3.53 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline during the summer driving season, the Energy Department said.

The Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, said the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline as of Monday was $3.65 per gallon. That's approximately 1 cent less than last week and 8 cents less than during the same time last year.

The EIA in its short-term outlook report said regular gasoline will cost $3.53 on average for the summer driving season, which lasts from April through September.

"The annual average regular gasoline retail price is projected to decline from $3.63 per gallon in 2012 to $3.49 per gallon in 2013 and to $3.37 per gallon in 2014," the report published Tuesday said.

Motor group AAA reported an average price of $3.63 nationally as of Wednesday. The automobile association reported Illinois and Michigan had among the nation's highest average prices for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline Wednesday, with $4.19 and $4.17, respectively. Problems at a Chicago-area refinery contributed to regional spikes.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its June oil market report there was ample supply of gasoline at the start of the summer driving season.

The EIA cautioned energy price forecasts are "highly uncertain."

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