National average diesel prices over the summer are projected to be $2.33 per gallon and remain above regular gasoline prices through 2006, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) short-term energy outlook released yesterday.

An EIA economist told Fleet Owner that record crude oil prices, coupled with stronger worldwide diesel demand is responsible for diesel prices trending toward new highs. More record highs are expected in the winter when heating oil demand is at its peak.

See Expect more summer diesel records.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil is expected to average $59 per barrel in the third quarter of 2005, which represents an upward revision that is $6 higher than EIA’s projection last month.