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In-brief analysis
May 15, 2024

Higher refining costs could increase summer gasoline prices

U.S. average regular retail gasoline price

Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), May 2024

Average monthly prices for regular-grade retail gasoline in the United States could increase by more than 10 cents per gallon (gal) if refinery output is lower than expected, according to an analysis we published on May 14.

In our May Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), which serves as the Base case for our new analysis, we forecast summer regular retail gasoline prices will average about $3.70/gal.

The new analysis, a Perspectives supplement to our May STEO, presents a High Refining Cost scenario, which examines:

  • The potential effects of lower gasoline yields, based on limited production of high-octane gasoline blend components
  • The impact of widening differences between retail prices on the East and West Coasts and the Gulf Coast
  • The influence of higher regional retail gasoline prices, increased gasoline imports, and slightly less gasoline consumption

Principal contributors: Jeff Barron, Kevin Hack