‹ Analysis & Projections

Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: November 7, 2017  |  Next Release Date: December 12, 2017  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures


  • North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $58 per barrel (b) in October, an increase of $1/b from the average in September. EIA forecasts Brent spot prices to average $53/b in 2017 and $56/b in 2018.
  • West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are forecast to average almost $5/b lower than Brent prices in 2018. After averaging $2/b lower than Brent prices through the first eight months of 2017, WTI prices averaged $6/b lower than Brent prices in September and October. The spread between Brent and WTI prices is expected to remain at this level through the first quarter of 2018 before narrowing to $4/b during the second half of 2018.
  • U.S. regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.51 per gallon (gal) in October, a decrease of 14 cents/gal from the average in September, which was the highest monthly average since July 2015. The September prices reflected the effects of market disruptions following hurricanes Harvey and Irma. EIA forecasts the average U.S. regular gasoline retail price will average $2.47/gal in November and $2.39/gal in December. EIA forecasts that U.S. regular gasoline retail prices will average $2.40/gal in 2017 and $2.45/gal in 2018.
  • In October, the average Henry Hub natural gas spot price was $2.88 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), down 10 cents/MMBtu from the September level. Expected growth in natural gas exports and domestic natural gas consumption in 2018 contribute to the forecast Henry Hub natural gas spot price rising from an annual average of $3.01/MMBtu in 2017 to $3.10/MMBtu in 2018. NYMEX contract values for February 2018 delivery that traded during the five-day period ending November 2 suggest that a range of $2.08/MMBtu to $4.52/MMBtu encompasses the market expectation for February Henry Hub natural gas prices at the 95% confidence level.
  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 49.70 51.04
Brent Crude Oil
(dollars per barrel)
52.32 43.74 53.01 55.61
(dollars testper gallon)
2.43 2.15 2.40 2.45
(dollars per gallon)
2.71 2.31 2.65 2.83
Heating Oild
(dollars per gallon)
2.65 2.10 2.51 2.71
Natural Gasd
(dollars per thousand cubic feet)
10.36 10.04 11.07 10.92
(cents per kilowatthour)
12.65 12.55 12.90 13.24
(dollars per million Btu)
2.23 2.11 2.13 2.20

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