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Oil prices are hovering close to $115 a barrel, having crossed the record mark on Thursday after a US inventory report raised concerns about supplies
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices, which averaged $72.32 per barrel in 2007, are projected to average $101 per barrel in 2008 and $92.50 per barrel in 2009.
The projected higher costs for crude oil will contribute to higher petroleum product prices. Motor gasoline prices are projected to average $3.36 per gallon in 2008, up 55 cents from last year. Diesel prices are projected to show even larger increases in 2008, averaging $3.62 per gallon, or 74 cents above the 2007 average price. The monthly average gasoline price is projected to peak at about $3.60 per gallon this spring, while monthly diesel prices are expected to average about $3.90 per gallon in March and April. Weekly diesel prices have already crossed the $4.00-per-gallon threshold in many regions of the country.