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W A S H I N G T O N April 6 The good news for consumers is gas prices are anticipated to drop this summer But the bad news is the decline will be slow With an increase in international oil production as a backdrop the Energy Department today dramatically revised its forecast for summer gasoline prices The agency said prices should peak later this month and begin dropping sometime in May averaging about 146 a gallon throughout the summer Even Cheaper Fall Prices And theres even more good news Gasoline prices may dip lower still by fall according to the agency Prices may fall to a national average of 139 after Labor Day the departments Energy Information Administration said in its revised short-term forecast By then I expect we will have started to see some economic growth deterioration and I think from there we probably will see demand start to come under some pressure said Peter Beutel president of Cameron Hanover an energy risk management firm in Connecticut So I think we probably will see prices closer to 130 or maybe even 125 What Happened to the 2 Estimate Just a month ago the Energy Department said even with increased oil production gasoline prices were expected to soar to a national average of as much as 180 a gallon and likely reach 2 a gallon in some places by July So whats changed between now and then A key international oil meeting in Vienna Austria The EIA in its latest forecast assumed additional oil would begin hitting the US market by June as a result of a decision March 28 by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC agreed to boost production by as much as 17 million barrels a day Other non-OPEC producers also have said they would increase production And production increases mean
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