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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: May. 7, 2024  |  Forecast Completed: May. 2, 2024  |  Next Release Date: Jun. 11, 2024  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Note: Beginning June 11, 2024, we will publish the shale gas tight oil production data and Drilling Productivity Report data in the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) data tables. These improvements will provide a disaggregated STEO forecast for oil and natural gas production in different regions of the United States.

Forecast overview

  • Global oil prices. We expect voluntary OPEC+ crude oil production cuts and ongoing geopolitical risks will keep the Brent crude oil spot price near $90 per barrel (b) for the remainder of 2024 before falling to an average of $85/b in 2025 as global oil production growth picks up.
  • Global oil production tables. This month we are publishing streamlined global oil data tables. These tables provide a more complete breakout of OPEC+ production data and provide a new breakout of world crude oil and other liquid fuels production.
  • U.S. retail gasoline prices. Across the United States, we forecast that retail gasoline prices will average near $3.70 per gallon from April through September, which is similar to prices during the same period last year. Refinery operations are a source of uncertainty for gasoline markets this summer. An upcoming Perspectives supplement looks in more depth at the effect refinery operations could have on retail gasoline prices.
  • Natural gas production. We expect U.S. dry natural gas production to fall by 2% from the first quarter of 2024 (1Q24) to 2Q24 as a result of low natural gas prices. We expect 1% less natural gas will be produced in the United States in 2024 than last year before production increases by 2% in 2025 to a record of almost 105 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d).
  • Natural gas consumption. U.S. natural gas consumption in our forecast is mostly unchanged in 2024 compared with last year, averaging 89 Bcf/d. We expect that less consumption in the industrial sector will offset increases in natural gas consumption in the electric power, residential, and commercial sectors.
  • Electricity generation. Solar supplies most of our forecast growth in U.S. electricity generation this year. We expect total U.S. electricity generation will grow by 3% (114 billion kilowatthours) in 2024, and we forecast generation from utility-scale solar will contribute almost 60% of that increase. Among other renewable sources, wind contributes 19% of 2024 U.S. electricity generation growth, and hydropower contributes 13%.
  • Coal markets. We have revised our estimate of U.S. coal exports in 2024 upwards by 4% compared with the April Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) due to more-than-expected metallurgical coal exports from the Appalachia region in February. We now expect U.S. coal exports in 2024 will be almost unchanged from 2023. However, we still expect coal production will decline by 14% in 2024 to about 500 million short tons and then fall by about 1% next year. But more coal exports in this STEO compared with last month’s forecast mean the decline is less than we had forecast last month; we raised our forecast for U.S. coal production from last month by 3% in 2024 and by 6% in 2025.

Notable Forecast Changes 2024 2025

Note: Values in this table are rounded and may not match values in other tables in this report.
The current STEO forecast was released May 7.
The previous STEO forecast was released April 9.

Coal exports (current forecast) (million short tons) 99 106
Previous forecast 94 105
Percentage change 4.5% 0.8%
Coal production (current forecast) (million short tons) 499 494
Previous forecast 485 464
Percentage change 2.9% 6.3%
Secondary coal inventories (current forecast) (million short tons) 142 154
Previous forecast 138 128
Percentage change 2.4% 20.9%

You can find more information in the detailed table of forecast changes.

Notice: Beginning with the April STEO, we no longer publish a breakout of diesel fuel and fuel oil as components of total distillate fuel. We now only report total distillate fuel and the portion of distillate fuel used in the electric power sector. Last year, we officially suspended the EIA-782A and EIA-782C surveys. These two surveys provided historical data that allowed us to develop separate forecasts for fuel oil consumption and diesel fuel consumption. Continuing to estimate the breakout of distillate fuel consumption between diesel fuel and home heating oil was not sustainable without historical data.
Note: Values in this table are rounded and may not match values in other tables in this report.
Brent crude oil
(dollars per barrel)
Gasoline retail price
(dollars per gallon)
U.S. crude oil production
(million barrels per day)
Natural gas spot price
(dollars per million BTU)
U.S. LNG exports
(billion cubic feet per day)
Shares of U.S. electricity generation
Natural gas 39424241
Coal 20171614
Renewables 21212325
Nuclear 19191919
(percentage change)
U.S. CO2 emissions
(million metric tons)

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