The Report noted that, "U.S. commercial stocks of crude oil and petroleum products are well above the upper boundary of the five-year average range for this time of year and close to the highest levels we have seen in nearly 20 years. In spite of a recent sharp drop, motor gasoline inventories are still plentiful, and at the upper boundary of the five-year average range as well. Distillate fuel inventories are well above the upper boundary of the five-year moving average. In other parts of the world, inventories are also generally high for this time of the year."
In examining oil prices for the summer season, the Report called them "the most important determinant of the price of gasoline and other transport fuels in the short term."
"Crude oil prices (WTI, NYMEX) averaged $100 per barrel in 2008, but were higher ($121 per bbl) during the summer driving season from April through September. Crude oil prices dropped dramatically in the fall of 2008, and have since averaged $43.50 per barrel in the first quarter of 2009," the Report concluded. "Prices have risen slightly since then, and seem posed to average in the $50 to $55 per barrel range during the summer driving season. Crude prices could tick upward in the latter part of the year, especially if signs of economic recovery become apparent. Even so, and in the absence of any unexpected destabilizing events, prices will likely average about $50 per barrel for 2009."