August 10, 2010 2:00 PM, EDT

DOE Holds Diesel Forecast Under $3 a Gallon

Bruce Harmon/Trans Pixs

The Department of Energy said Tuesday that diesel will average just under $3 a gallon this year, in line with its previous forecasts, but will climb over that level in 2011.

Trucking’s main fuel will average $2.97 this year and $3.14 next year, DOE said in its monthly short-term energy outlook. That’s down a cent and up a penny, respectively, from last month’s outlook.

The department said in its weekly price survey Monday that diesel jumped 6.3 cents to $2.991 a gallon — its biggest jump in four months — while gas gained 4.8 cents to $2.783.

Gasoline will average $2.80 a gallon this summer, DOE said, matching its previous forecast. That’s 36 cents over the price last summer.

Trucking’s main fuel averaged $2.46 and gas averaged $2.35 a gallon last year, DOE said.

Crude oil prices averaged $76.32 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in July, up $1 from June and about in line with DOE’s previous forecast of $77 per barrel.

DOE said crude will average $80 a barrel in the second half of this year before rising to $85 in 2011 —  up $1 and $2, respectively, from its most recent forecast.