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Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook

Release Date: October 6, 2015  |  Next Release Date: November 10, 2015  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures


  • EIA projects average U.S. household expenditures for natural gas, heating oil, and propane during the upcoming winter heating season (October 1 through March 31) will be 10%, 25%, and 18% lower, respectively, than last winter, because of lower fuel prices and lower heating demand. Forecast lower heating demand and relatively unchanged prices contribute to electricity expenditures that are 3% lower than last winter (Winter Fuels Outlook slideshow).
  • North Sea Brent crude oil prices averaged $48/barrel (b) in September, a $1/b increase from August. However, volatility remained high during September. EIA forecasts that Brent crude oil prices will average $54/b in 2015 and $59/b in 2016, unchanged from last month's STEO. Forecast West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices average $4/b lower than the Brent price in 2015 and $5/b lower in 2016. The current values of futures and options contracts for January 2016 delivery (Market Prices and Uncertainty Report) suggest the market expects WTI prices to range from $32/b to $67/b (at the 95% confidence interval) in January 2016.
  • U.S. regular gasoline monthly retail prices averaged $2.37/gallon (gal) in September, a decrease of 27 cents/gal from August and $1.04/gal lower than in September 2014. EIA expects monthly gasoline prices to decline to an average of $2.03/gal in December 2015. EIA forecasts U.S. regular gasoline retail prices to average $2.38/gal in 2016.
  • EIA estimates that total U.S. crude oil production declined by 120,000 barrels per day (b/d) in September compared with August. Crude oil production is forecast to decrease through mid-2016 before growth resumes late in 2016. Projected U.S. crude oil production averages 9.2 million b/d in 2015 and 8.9 million b/d in 2016.
  • Natural gas working inventories were 3,538 billion cubic feet (Bcf) on September 25. This level was 15% higher than a year ago and 4% higher than the previous five-year average (2010-14) for this week. EIA projects inventories will close the injection season at the end of October at 3,956 Bcf, which would be the highest end-of-October level on record.


Price Summary
  2013 2014 2015 2016
a West Texas Intermediate.
b Average regular pump price.
c On-highway retail.
d U.S. Residential average.
WTI Crude Oila
(dollars per barrel)
97.98 93.17 49.53 53.57
Brent Crude Oil
(dollars per barrel)
108.56 98.89 53.96 58.57
(dollars per gallon)
3.51 3.36 2.42 2.38
(dollars per gallon)
3.92 3.83 2.72 2.77
Heating Oild
(dollars per gallon)
3.78 3.72 2.73 2.65
Natural Gasd
(dollars per thousand cubic feet)
10.29 10.94 10.35 10.28
(cents per kilowatthour)
12.12 12.50 12.55 12.69

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