OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is set to earn a record $1.05 trillion this year in net oil export revenues, the U.S. Energy Department says.
In 2011, OPEC raked in more than $1 trillion in net oil export revenues for the first time ($1.03 trillion), the Energy Department said.
As a consequence, Americans will pay the highest average price ever for gasoline this year. The U.S. average for a gallon of regular gasoline in 2012 will be $3.63 a gallon.
The 2012 average breaks the old record, set last year, of $3.53 a gallon.
OPEC will have to tighten its collective belt a bit in 2013, when it will earn a projected $955 billion.
The Energy Department did have some encouraging news for Americans.
U.S. oil production is set to average 6.4 million barrels a day in 2012 as the nation continues to reduce its dependence on foreign crude.