The U.S. Energy Information Administration is projecting that both diesel fuel and crude oil prices will drop in 2009, citing the “current global economic slowdown” as the reason for the price decreases.
According to the EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook, the national average price for diesel is expected to drop to $2.47 per gallon, down $1.33 from the 2008 average. Crude oil is projected to fall to $51 per barrel in 2009, down from approximately $100 per barrel in 2008.
“The increasing likelihood of a prolonged global economic downturn continues to dominate market perceptions, putting downward pressure on oil prices,” according to the report.
The rapid decline in world petroleum demand has driven down the monthly average price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil by more than half since July 2008.
OPEC is scheduled to meet again on Dec. 17 to “evaluate the effectiveness of its earlier decision to cut production targets by 1.5 million barrels per day and to weigh the need for additional production cuts.”