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.
The U.S. oil production boom is being driven by states like North Dakota and Texas.
In 2013, the Energy Department predicts that U.S. oil production will increase to 7.1 million barrels a day, which would be the highest level since 1992.