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Diesel price posts first gain in 10 weeks

Diesel price posts first gain in 10 weeks

National average retail pump prices for diesel and gasoline increased this week, according to data tracked by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), with prices for both fuels up in every region of the country as well.

Diesel jumped 6 cents to a national average of $2.370 per gallon, the first increase in 10 weeks—though that’s still 19.1 cents per gallon cheaper compared to the same week in 2015.

Diesel prices were up in every region of the nation, the agency reported, with the largest increases occurring in:

  • The Gulf Coast: up 7 cents to $2.249 per gallon
  • The Midwest: up 6.9 cents to $2.342
  • The Lower Atlantic: up 6.1 cents to $2.294

Gasoline jumped 4.4 cents to a national average of $2.193 per gallon this week, EIA noted, though that is 44.4 cents per gallon cheaper compared to the same week last year.

In other energy news, recent research by EIA indicated that net oil export revenue for the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is down sharply.

OPEC earned $404 billion in net oil export revenue in 2015, according to the agency’s estimates, representing a 46% decline from the estimated $753 billion earned in 2014 and a 56% drop from the estimated $921 billion revenue in 2012.

OPEC members' 2015 net export revenue was the lowest since 2004, with significant implications for the fiscal condition of member countries that rely heavily on oil sales to fund social programs and import other goods and services. In inflation-adjusted terms, OPEC per capita net oil export revenue totaled $606 in 2015, down 83% from the 1980 level of $3,500.

EIA noted that its estimates for OPEC’s net oil export revenue are based on oil production and consumption estimates, as well as its forecast for oil prices from the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) published back in June.

The agency also stressed it also assumes that exports are sold at prevailing spot prices, and adjusts the benchmark crude oil prices that are forecasted in the STEO (Brent, West Texas Intermediate, and the average imported refiner crude oil acquisition cost) to incorporate historical price differentials between spot prices for the different OPEC crude oil types.

That being said, EIA said OPEC revenue has fallen in step with the steep decline in crude oil prices. The monthly average Brent spot price dropped from $112 per barrel (b) in June 2014 to $38/b in December 2015. Based on EIA price forecasts, which are subject to a wide range of uncertainty, OPEC revenue is expected to fall further in 2016 to $341 billion before rising to $427 billion in 2017.

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