U.S. Energy Information Administration logo
Skip to sub-navigation
‹ Analysis & Projections

Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: Sep. 12, 2023  |  Forecast Completed: Sep. 7, 2023  |  Next Release Date: Oct. 11, 2023  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Petroleum products

U.S. motor gasoline consumption
We reduced our vehicle miles traveled (VMT) forecast—which directly affects motor gasoline consumption—following the release of new population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. The revision increased the share of the U.S. population over 65, which reduced our forecast for VMT and gasoline consumption because it decreased our estimate of the working-age population commuters. In our September STEO forecast, the share of the U.S. population that will be over 65 is 18.2% in 2024, up from our August STEO forecast of 18.0%. This seemingly small increase adds 0.7 million individuals to the population of adults over 65. Although the total population remained unchanged, the U.S. Census Bureau revised the population under the age of 15 down by 0.5 million and the working-age population down by 0.2 million people. We define the working-age population as ages 15–64 because this group accounts for the bulk of the workforce and regular commuting.

In our September STEO, we forecast U.S. gasoline consumption will average 8.9 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2023 and 8.7 million b/d in 2024 (down from our August STEO forecast of 8.9 million b/d in 2024). As a result of the revisions, we forecast that gasoline consumption will decline by 1.6% in 2024 compared with this year.

U.S. motor gasoline consumption

U.S. diesel crack spread
We raised our diesel price forecast because of higher-than-expected August diesel crack spreads (the price of a gallon of diesel minus the price of a gallon of crude oil) and our expectation for lower distillate inventories in the fall. Announced maintenance at the Irving Oil refinery in St. John, New Brunswick, and at the Monroe Energy refinery in Trainer, Pennsylvania, will reduce distillate fuel oil supplies to the East Coast. Total distillate inventories in the United States have been well below average since last year, and we currently estimate U.S. distillate inventories will decline by about 11 million barrels in October, more than the average October draw from 2018–22 of nearly 8 million barrels, largely because of the maintenance. The draw will contribute to additional increases in the distillate crack spread in October, which we estimate will average $1.29 per gallon (gal), a 31-cent increase compared with the August STEO.

Both seasonal increases in demand along with refinery maintenance will reduce distillate inventories. East Coast distillate demand tends to increase in the winter months because many households in the U.S. Northeast use distillate heating oil, while Midwest distillate demand tends to increase in September and October because of agricultural demand associated with the harvest season. Refinery maintenance and increased end-of-year distillate consumption are typical in most years, but our outlook for higher distillate crack spreads also reflects low global distillate inventories.

U.S. average distillate crack spread

Petroleum Products
WTI spot average
(dollars per barrel)
U.S. crude oil production
(million barrels per day)
U.S. liquid fuels consumption
(million barrels per day)
U.S. crude oil & petroleum product net imports
(million barrels per day)
Retail gasoline price
(dollars per gallon)
Retail diesel fuel price
(dollars per gallon)

Interactive Data Viewers

Provides custom data views of historical and forecast data

STEO Data browser ›
Real Prices Viewer ›

Related Figures
U.S. gasoline and crude oil prices XLSX PNG
U.S. diesel fuel and crude oil prices XLSX PNG
U.S. liquid fuels production growth XLSX PNG
U.S. natural gas plant liquids production XLSX PNG
U.S. liquid fuels product supplied growth XLSX PNG
U.S. hydrocarbon gas liquids consumption XLSX PNG
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories XLSX PNG
U.S. gasoline and distillate inventories XLSX PNG
U.S. commercial propane inventories XLSX PNG
U.S. net imports of crude oil and liquid fuels XLSX PNG
U.S. net trade of hydrocarbon gas liquids XLSX PNG