Americans' fuel bill ran up even as they used the least amount of gas in more than a decade. The slower U.S. economy and an increase in fuel efficient cars helped cut gasoline consumption, which government data show peaked in 2007. Consumption is expected to be about 8.73 million barrels per day this year, which would be the lowest level since 2001.
Prices should be cheaper next year, forecasters say.
Barring unexpected events like hurricanes or a conflict that disrupts oil supplies from the Middle East, OPIS chief oil analyst Tom Kloza said the nationwide price for gas should stay below $4 per gallon in 2013. The government is predicting $3.43 a gallon for next year, which would be the lowest price since 2010 when gas averaged $2.78 a gallon.