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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: February 6, 2018  |  Next Release Date: March 6, 2018  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Prices

  • North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $69 per barrel (b) in January, an increase of $5/b from the December level. Monthly average Brent prices have increased for seven consecutive months, and, on January 11, spot prices moved higher than $70/b for the first time since December 2014. EIA forecasts Brent spot prices will average about $62/b in both 2018 and 2019 compared with an average of $54/b in 2017.
  • EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices to average $4/b lower than Brent prices in both 2018 and 2019. NYMEX WTI contract values for May 2018 delivery traded during the five-day period ending February 1, 2018, suggest a range of $55/b to $77/b encompasses the market expectation for May 2018 WTI prices at the 95% confidence level.
  • In January, the U.S. benchmark Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged $3.88 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), up $1.06/MMBtu from December. Cold temperatures east of the Rocky Mountains in early January contributed to high levels of natural gas consumption as well as a reduction in production because of well freeze-offs. This combination resulted in record-high natural gas inventory withdrawals in mid-January, which contributed to rising prices.
  • EIA expects natural gas prices to moderate in the coming months, based on a forecast of record growth in natural gas production. EIA expects Henry Hub spot prices to average $3.34/MMBtu in February and $3.20/MMBtu for all of 2018. In 2019, EIA forecasts prices will average $3.08/MMBtu. NYMEX contract values for May 2018 delivery that traded during the five-day period ending February 1, 2018, suggest that a range of $2.26/MMBtu to $3.67/MMBtu encompasses the market expectation for May Henry Hub natural gas prices at the 95% confidence level.

Prices
  2016201720182019
aWest Texas Intermediate.
bAverage regular pump price.
cOn-highway retail.
dU.S. Residential average.
eElectric power generation fuel cost.
WTI Crude Oila
(dollars per barrel)
43.3350.7958.2857.51
Brent Crude Oil
(dollars per barrel)
43.7454.1562.3961.51
Gasolineb
(dollars testper gallon)
2.152.422.622.58
Dieselc
(dollars per gallon)
2.312.652.912.87
Heating Oild
(dollars per gallon)
2.102.532.882.81
Natural Gasd
(dollars per thousand cubic feet)
10.0410.9710.7810.96
Electricityd
(cents per kilowatthour)
12.5512.9013.2313.62
Coale
(dollars per million Btu)
2.112.092.212.21

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