Higher diesel prices forecast

In its latest forecast, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration projects diesel to average $3.14 a gallon this winter and $3.23 a gallon in 2011.

This winter’s forecast is 35 cents a gallon higher than a last year. This week’s national average is $3.197.

The 2011 price forecast is 4 cents higher than EIA’s estimate in November. This year’s average of $2.98 a gallon compares with $2.46 in 2009.

The agency expects the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil to average about $84 a barrel this winter and increase to $89 a barrel by the end of 2011, $2 a barrel higher than its most recent estimate.

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