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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: October 6, 2020  |  Next Release Date: November 10, 2020  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Prices

  • Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $41 per barrel (b) in September, down $4/b from the average in August. The decrease in oil prices coincided with slowing increases in global oil demand. Month-over-month consumption rose by 1.0 million b/d on average during August and September compared with an increase of 4.1 million b/d from May through July. EIA estimates that global oil markets have shifted from global liquid fuels inventories building at a rate of 7.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in the second quarter of 2020 to drawing at a rate of 3.1 million b/d in the third quarter. EIA expects inventory draws in the fourth quarter to be 3.0 million b/d before markets become more balanced, with inventory draws of 0.3 million b/d on average in 2021. Despite expected inventory draws in the coming months, EIA expects high inventory levels and surplus crude oil production capacity will limit upward pressure on oil prices. EIA forecasts monthly Brent spot prices will average $42/b during the fourth quarter of 2020 and will rise to an average of $47/b in 2021.
  • In September, the Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged $1.92 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), down from an average of $2.30/MMBtu in August. Lower natural gas spot prices reflected declining demand for natural gas from the U.S. electric power sector as a result of cooler-than-normal temperatures during the second half of September and relatively low demand for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports amid hurricane-related activity in the Gulf of Mexico. EIA expects that rising domestic demand for natural gas and demand for LNG exports heading into winter, combined with reduced production, will cause Henry Hub spot prices to rise to a monthly average of $3.38/MMBtu in January 2021. EIA expects that monthly average spot prices will remain higher than $3.00/MMBtu throughout 2021, averaging $3.13/MMBtu for the year, up from a forecast average of $2.07/MMBtu in 2020.
  • In 2020, EIA expects U.S. residential electricity prices to average 13.1 cents per kilowatthour, which would be 0.4% higher than the average electricity price in 2019. Annual changes in regional residential electricity prices range from 1.4% lower prices in the South Atlantic region to 4.0% higher prices in the Pacific region.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price

U.S. gasoline and crude oil prices

U.S. diesel fuel and crude oil prices

Henry Hub natural gas price

U.S. natural gas prices

U.S. residential electricity prices

Prices
  2018201920202021
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)
65.0756.9938.7644.72
Brent Crude Oil
(dollars per barrel)
71.2164.3441.1947.07
Gasolineb
(dollars testper gallon)
2.732.602.152.23
Dieselc
(dollars per gallon)
3.183.062.542.55
Heating Oild
(dollars per gallon)
3.013.002.442.46
Natural Gasd
(dollars per thousand cubic feet)
10.4610.4610.4810.87
Electricityd
(cents per kilowatthour)
12.8713.0413.0913.22
Coale
(dollars per million Btu)
2.062.021.962.04

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Related Figures
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price XLSX PNG
U.S. gasoline and crude oil prices XLSX PNG
U.S. diesel fuel and crude oil prices XLSX PNG
Henry Hub natural gas price XLSX PNG
U.S. natural gas prices XLSX PNG
U.S. residential electricity price XLSX PNG
U.S. census regions and census divisions XLSX PNG
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