DOE: Diesel to stay above $3

After diesel soared past $3 a gallon this week, the Department of Energy forecast the fuel will average more than $3 next year.

Diesel will average $2.95 this year and $3.12 in 2011, the agency said. This week the price jumped 7.6 cents a gallon to $3.015.

Last year, diesel averaged $2.46 a gallon, DOE said yesterday, April 6, in its monthly short-term energy outlook.

Oil averaged $81 a barrel in March, almost $5 higher than the previous month. DOE forecasts crude to average above $81 a barrel this summer, just under $81 for the year, and then increase to $85 by the fourth quarter of 2011.