US drivers set to pay less to fuel up this summer

A fuel pump sits in the tank of a vehicle at a ConocoPhillips gas station in Fort Worth, Texas. (Bloomberg pic)

WASHINGTON: US drivers will probably pay less to fill up this summer as oil prices are forecast to be lower than last year.

Retail gasoline prices are expected to average US$2.76 a gallon, down from US$2.85 last year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Brent crude, the world benchmark, is seen averaging US$7 a barrel lower this season than last.

Lower pump prices are expected to spur more highway travel this season, driving gasoline demand near the record level set during the summer of 2017.

Meanwhile, exports of gasoline are seen averaging almost 90,000 barrels a day during the period, making the US net exporter of gasoline for the first summer since 1960, according to the EIA.