Power to the people: Next year the price at the pump will hit a four-year low
I expect the dramatic rise in U.S. oil production will continue its extraordinary climb in 2014, which will have an impact on domestic prices for oil and gasoline. But diesel prices on a more global market, so if demand picks up, prices will, too.
U.S. oil prices won't topple $100 a barrel for long.
The ongoing boom in domestic crude production will continue in 2014. In Texas alone, daily production on average already tops that of many OPEC nations. As the surge in production continues, we'll hear increased calls for the U.S. to export its burgeoning supplies. Right now U.S. crude can be exported only to Canada. That's a debate that will likely take much more than a year to play out. But what you can count on next year is that U.S. oil prices won't linger above $100 a barrel for long. We may see brief blips above the triple-digit mark, but the benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil futures price at that level will not be sustained as long as U.S. production continues to rise.
(Read more: 2014: The year the economy clicks)
Gasoline prices will fall to a four-year low, dipping below $3 a gallon for the national average.
Gasoline prices will continue to tumble amid increased refinery production and swelling supplies. The national average price for regular gasoline may briefly dip below the $3-a-gallon mark, with a yearly average around $3.25 a gallon. This would mark the cheapest year since 2010, according to Gasbuddy.com. Don't be surprised if prices top the $4-a-gallon mark in some states on the East and West coasts during the seasonal spring surge. But the middle of the country should continue to see prices well below $3 a gallon for most of the year.
Diesel prices could soar in the early part of the year and may test 2008 levels.
High heating oil and diesel fuel prices may offset the declines in gasoline prices in the early part of 2014. The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts diesel fuel prices will average $3.73 a gallon next year, down about 18 cents from $3.91 in 2013. But the sharp demand for distillate supplies globally may take diesel prices significantly higher during the winter months of 2014, causing the fuel to flirt with records set in 2008.
A look back at 2013
I'm pretty pleased with my predictions for 2013 since, for the first time, all have come true. I've given out some top grades to my Columbia University grad students but haven't received an A for my own work in many years. So I am proud to have this grade as one of my gifts to myself this holiday season.
—By CNBC's Sharon Epperson. Follow her on Twitter