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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: February 7, 2017  |  Next Release Date: March 7, 2017  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Notable Forecast Changes

  • Implied global petroleum and liquid fuels inventories are estimated to have increased by 0.8 million b/d in 2016. EIA expects the oil market to be relatively balanced in 2017 and 2018, with inventory draws averaging 0.1 million b/d in 2017 and builds averaging 0.2 million b/d in 2018. In last month's STEO, EIA had forecast inventory builds of 0.3 million b/d in 2017 and 0.1 million b/d in 2018. The revised forecast, which reduces inventory builds from last month's outlook, resulted from changes to estimates of historical global liquid fuels consumption. Higher consumption than previously estimated for 2014 created a higher base for consumption during more recent years and for the forecast period. See International Data Revisions and the STEO Forecast for more discussion about this change.
  • Indonesia's membership in OPEC was suspended as of the group's November 30, meeting. In this STEO, Indonesia's production volumes have been removed from OPEC total for both history and the forecast.
  • EIA forecasts U.S. Lower 48 crude oil production to average 6.88 million b/d in 2017 and 7.29 million b/d in 2018, which are 70,000 b/d and 310,000 b/d higher, respectively, than in the previous forecast. The higher forecast reflects slightly higher forecast oil prices and higher rig efficiencies. Based on revised assumptions related to the decline rates of producing fields and to projections related to announced discoveries, Gulf of Mexico crude oil production is expected to average 1.63 million b/d in 2017, 100,000 b/d lower than previously expected. The 2018 Gulf of Mexico crude oil production forecast of 1.77 million b/d in 2018 is down by 90,000 b/d from the previous forecast. The net result of these changes is that EIA expects total U.S. crude oil production to average 8.98 million b/d in 2017 and 9.53 million b/d in 2018, levels that are 20,000 b/d lower and 230,000 b/d higher, respectively, than previously forecast.
  • Natural gas plant production of hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGL) is 50,000 b/d higher in 2017 and 110,000 higher in 2018 than in the previous forecast, which results in higher HGL export growth and inventory levels compared with the previous forecast. Given a wider spread between natural gas prices and crude oil prices in this STEO, producers are expected to be more focused on natural gas resources with a higher concentration of liquids, which contributes to higher natural gas plant production throughout the forecast period. Stronger growth in natural gas production is expected to further increase HGL production in 2018.


Table: Changes in Forecast from Last Month

Forecast Change Tables (PDF)

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