‹ Analysis & Projections

Short-Term Energy and SUmmer Fuels Outlook

Release Date: April 11, 2017  |  Next Release Date: May 9, 2017  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures


  • For the 2017 April-through-September summer driving season, U.S. regular gasoline retail prices are forecast to average $2.46/gallon (gal), compared with $2.23/gal last summer (see Summer Fuels Outlook). The higher forecast gasoline price is primarily the result of higher forecast crude oil prices. For all of 2017, the forecast average price for regular gasoline is $2.39/gal, which, if realized, would result in the average U.S. household spending about $200 more on motor fuel in 2017 compared with 2016.
  • North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $52 per barrel (b) in March, $3/b lower than the February average. EIA forecasts Brent prices to average $54/b in 2017 and $57/b in 2018. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are forecast to average $2/b less than Brent prices in both 2017 and 2018.
  • NYMEX contract values for July 2017 delivery traded during the five-day period ending April 6 suggest that a range of $41/b to $66/b encompasses the market expectation for WTI prices in July 2017 at the 95% confidence level.
  • In March, the average Henry Hub natural gas spot price was $2.88 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), 3 cents/MMBtu above the February level. Prices increased as temperatures in March returned to more seasonally typical levels after being significantly warmer than normal in February.
  • EIA expects growth in coal-fired electricity generation, primarily a result of higher natural gas prices, to contribute to a 4% increase in coal production in 2017 and an additional 2% increase in 2018. EIA estimates the delivered coal price averaged $2.11/MMBtu in 2016, a 5% decline from the 2015 price. Coal prices are forecast to increase in 2017 and 2018 to $2.17/MMBtu and $2.22/MMBtu, respectively.
  2015 2016 2017 2018
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)
48.67 43.33 52.24 55.10
Brent Crude Oil
(dollars per barrel)
52.32 43.74 54.23 57.10
(dollars testper gallon)
2.43 2.15 2.39 2.44
(dollars per gallon)
2.71 2.31 2.69 2.85
Heating Oild
(dollars per gallon)
2.65 2.10 2.59 2.75
Natural Gasd
(dollars per thousand cubic feet)
10.36 10.05 10.86 11.09
(cents per kilowatthour)
12.65 12.55 12.87 13.18
(dollars per million Btu)
2.23 2.11 2.17 2.22

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Related Tables
Table SF01. U.S. Motor Gasoline Summer Outlook PDF
Table SF02. Average Summer Residential Electricity Usage, Prices and Expenditures PDF
Table 1. U.S. Energy Markets Summary PDF
Table 2. Energy Prices PDF
Table 4c. U.S. Regional Motor Gasoline Prices and Inventories PDF
Table 5b. U.S. Regional Natural Gas Prices PDF
Table 7c. U.S. Regional Retail Electricity Prices PDF
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