‹ Analysis & Projections

Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: November 8, 2016  |  Next Release Date: December 6, 2016  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Prices

  • EIA expects Brent crude oil prices will average close to $48/ barrel (b) in the fourth quarter of 2016 and in the first quarter of 2017. Forecast Brent prices average $43/b in 2016 and $51/b in 2017. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are forecast to average about $1/b less than Brent prices in 2017. The values of futures and options contracts indicate significant uncertainty in the price outlook, with NYMEX contract values for February 2017 delivery traded during the five-day period ending November 3 suggesting that a range from $35/b to $66/b encompasses the market expectation of WTI prices in February 2017 at the 95% confidence level.
  • Higher crude oil prices contributed to U.S. average retail regular gasoline prices in October increasing by 3 cents/gallon (gal) from September to an average of $2.25/gal. With the switch to less-expensive winter gasoline blends and the typical seasonal decline in gasoline consumption, EIA expects gasoline prices to fall to an average of $1.97/gal in January. Retail gasoline prices are forecast to average $2.13/gal in 2016 and $2.27/gal in 2017.
  • Growing domestic natural gas consumption, along with higher pipeline exports to Mexico and liquefied natural gas exports, contribute to the Henry Hub natural gas spot price rising from an average of $2.50/million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2016 to $3.12/MMBtu in 2017. NYMEX contract values for February 2017 delivery traded during the five-day period ending November 3 suggest that a price range from $2.01/MMBtu to $4.84/MMBtu encompasses the market expectation of Henry Hub natural gas prices in February 2017 at the 95% confidence level.
Prices
  2014 2015 2016 2017
a West Texas Intermediate.
b Average regular pump price.
c On-highway retail.
d U.S. Residential average.
e Electric power generation fuel cost.
WTI Crude Oila
(dollars per barrel)
93.17 48.67 42.84 49.91
Brent Crude Oil
(dollars per barrel)
98.89 52.32 43.30 50.91
Gasolineb
(dollars per gallon)
3.36 2.43 2.13 2.27
Dieselc
(dollars per gallon)
3.83 2.71 2.32 2.69
Heating Oild
(dollars per gallon)
3.71 2.65 2.12 2.60
Natural Gasd
(dollars per thousand cubic feet)
10.94 10.36 10.15 10.85
Electricityd
(cents per kilowatthour)
12.52 12.67 12.55 12.93
Coale
(dollars per million Btu)
2.36 2.23 2.15 2.22

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