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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: March 7, 2017  |  Next Release Date: April 11, 2017  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Prices

  • Benchmark North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $55 per barrel (b) in February, largely unchanged from the average in January.
  • EIA forecasts Brent crude oil prices to average $55/b in 2017 and $57/b in 2018. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are expected to average about $1/b less than Brent prices in the forecast. NYMEX contract values for May 2017 delivery traded during the five-day period ending March 2 suggest that a range of $46/b to $63/b encompasses the market expectation for WTI prices in May 2017 at the 95% confidence level.
  • U.S. monthly average regular gasoline retail prices are expected to increase from $2.30/gallon (gal) in February 2017 to $2.51/gal in July before falling to $2.24/gal by December. U.S. regular gasoline retail prices are forecast to average $2.40/gal in 2017 and $2.44/gal in 2018.
  • In February, the average Henry Hub natural gas spot price fell by 45 cents per million British thermal units (MMBtu) from the January levels to $2.85/MMBtu. Unseasonably warm temperatures in the Lower 48 states contributed to lower prices.
  • New natural gas export capabilities and growing domestic natural gas consumption contribute to the forecast Henry Hub natural gas spot price rising from an average of $3.03/MMBtu in 2017 to $3.45/MMBtu in 2018. NYMEX contract values for May 2017 delivery traded during the five-day period ending March 2 suggest that a range of $2.15/MMBtu to $3.82/MMBtu encompasses the market expectation for Henry Hub natural gas prices in May 2017 at the 95% confidence level.
  • EIA expects growth in coal-fired electricity generation to contribute to a 4% increase in coal production in 2017. Coal production is expected to be unchanged 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 $2.21/MMBtu, respectively.
Prices
  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 53.49 56.18
Brent Crude Oil
(dollars per barrel)
52.32 43.74 54.62 57.18
Gasolineb
(dollars per gallon)
2.43 2.15 2.40 2.44
Dieselc
(dollars per gallon)
2.71 2.31 2.70 2.83
Heating Oild
(dollars per gallon)
2.65 2.10 2.59 2.74
Natural Gasd
(dollars per thousand cubic feet)
10.36 10.05 11.07 11.09
Electricityd
(cents per kilowatthour)
12.65 12.55 12.88 13.18
Coale
(dollars per million Btu)
2.23 2.11 2.17 2.21

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