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July 17, 2017 6:15 PM, EDT
Diesel Rises 1¢ to $2.491; U.S. Shale Produces 5.58 Million Barrels a Day
truck stop diesel Mériol Lehmann/Flickr

The U.S. average diesel price has risen a cent to $2.491, the Department of Energy said July 17. The fuel has increased 2.6 cents over three weeks.

Regional prices for trucking’s main fuel rose in all regions except in California and New England, where its price dipped 0.2 cent and 0.5 cent, respectively.

DOE’s Energy Information Administration now forecasts Brent crude oil prices to average $50 per barrel for the summer driving season, down from a projected $54 per barrel in its April Short-Term Energy Outlook.

Crude oil prices have fallen in recent months as U.S. oil producers have bolstered drilling activity and production — with many of them hedging at higher oil prices in early 2017 — and as Libya and Nigeria have produced at levels above expectations, according to EIA.

These developments have served to offset some production cuts that members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some other top exporters agreed to with the intention of reducing elevated global oil inventories.

The U.S. average price for regular gasoline dropped 1.9 cents to $2.278, or 4.8 cents higher than a year ago, according to EIA.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed at $45.97 per barrel July 17, compared with $44.45 on July 10.

The Energy Information Administration sees crude output at major U.S. shale plays reaching 5.58 million barrels a day in August, an all-time high, according to Bloomberg News.

“It seems like we’ve kind of found a new value range around $45, and the market is hunting for its next real driver,” Gene McGillian, market research manager at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Conn., told Bloomberg News.

The weekly U.S. rig count remained unchanged over the previous week at 952 but is up 505 from a year earlier, oil field services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

Houston-based Baker Hughes ranks No. 14 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest private carriers in North America.