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I came across this website yesterday looking for a reliable gas/fuel price forecast. Itâ??s the Energy Information Administration (Official Energy Statistics from the US Government) . The site includes enough tables, charts, and other info by country, region, and state to give even DataMan indigestion.

I thought I would post it here because fuel is an important part of running a boat. Information is good. Hijack if you want, but this is intended to be informational, not political.

Flipping through the billions of pieces of info, there seems to be some (almost) good news, and some bad news. They forecast GAS prices to be near the short term high (with spring time refinery production increasing), but DEISEL will probably go higher (due to inventory fluctuations during the mandated change over to lower sulphur content blends). Furthermore, the increases in California have been much lower than the increases across the rest of the nation. Thatâ??s because Californians have been getting Punkâ??d for a long time already â?? now itâ??s time for everyone else to catch up.

One interesting table showed petroleum demand actually decreased slightly in the US from 2004 to 2005, but US supply decreased faster (Katrina), so imports still went up.

Within the site there is a section on Petroleum

Within the Petroleum section is a report called â??This Week in Petroleumâ?? (next update Wednesday 4/26/06). Below is the introduction of the latest release. The complete story can be found here -

Released on April 19, 2006
(Next Release on April 26, 2006)

$3 per Gallon?
Just about everyone who has called EIA over the last few days asking about gasoline prices has asked the same question: Will the U.S. average retail price for regular grade reach $3 per gallon this year? With a prices up 28.5 cents per gallon the last three weeks to 278.3 cents per gallon, it is not surprising that EIA is being asked if $3 per gallon is around the corner.

While some stations have already posted prices for regular gasoline that exceed $3 per gallon and it is certainly possible that average retail prices across the country could reach that level sometime this year, EIA is not forecasting prices that high, on average, over a whole month. Our forecast assumes that there are no major problems in U.S. refineries, pipelines, or any part of the distribution chain. It also assumes that no additional oil production disruptions occur overseas.
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