Even if war is averted in Iraq, motorists should be ready to pay at least a dime per gallon more for gasoline this spring, the Energy
Department says, according to an Associated Press report.
Oil and gasoline imports from Venezuela probably won't return to normal before summer -- if then, AP said. Despite tight supplies of
crude, the Bush administration gave no sign Jan. 9 it was ready to use emergency oil reserves to soften the supply or price impacts, although U.S. officials were lobbying foreign producers to increase oil output, according to AP.
The Energy Department in a report forecast that gasoline prices nationwide would increase to an average of $1.54 a gallon by mid-spring, about 10 cents a gallon higher than this week's average, because of rising crude prices and the disruption to oil exports in Venezuela, AP said.