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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: November 13, 2019  |  Next Release Date: December 10, 2019  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

U.S. Liquid Fuels

  • Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $60 per barrel (b) in October, down $3/b from September and down $21/b from October 2018. EIA forecasts Brent spot prices will average $60/b in 2020, down from a 2019 average of $64/b. EIA forecasts that West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices will average $5.50/b less than Brent prices in 2020. EIA expects crude oil prices will be lower on average in 2020 than in 2019 because of forecast rising global oil inventories, particularly in the first half of next year.
  • Based on preliminary data and model estimates, EIA estimates that the United States exported 140,000 b/d more total crude oil and petroleum products in September than it imported; total exports exceeded imports by 550,000 b/d in October. If confirmed in survey-collected monthly data, it would be the first time the United States exported more petroleum than it imported since EIA records began in 1949. EIA expects total crude oil and petroleum net exports to average 750,000 b/d in 2020 compared with average net imports of 520,000 b/d in 2019.
  • Distillate fuel inventories (a category that includes home heating oil) in the U.S. East Coast—Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD) 1—totaled 36.6 million barrels at the end of October, which was 30% lower than the five-year (2014–18) average for the end of October. The declining inventories largely reflect low U.S. refinery runs during October and low distillate fuel imports to the East Coast. EIA does not forecast regional distillate prices, but low inventories could put upward pressure on East Coast distillate fuel prices, including home heating oil, in the coming weeks.
  • U.S. regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.63 per gallon (gal) in October, up 3 cents/gal from September and 11 cents/gal higher than forecast in last month’s STEO. Average U.S. regular gasoline retail prices were higher than expected, in large part, because of ongoing issues from refinery outages in California. EIA forecasts that regular gasoline prices on the West Coast (PADD) 5, a region that includes California, will fall as the issues begin to resolve. EIA expects that prices in the region will average $3.44/gal in November and $3.12/gal in December. For the U.S. national average, EIA expects regular gasoline retail prices to average $2.65/gal in November and fall to $2.50/gal in December. EIA forecasts that the annual average price in 2020 will be $2.62/gal.
  • Despite low distillate fuel inventories, EIA expects that average household expenditures for home heating oil will decrease this winter. This forecast largely reflects warmer temperatures than last winter for the entire October–March period, and retail heating oil prices are expected to be unchanged compared with last winter. For households that heat with propane, EIA forecasts that expenditures will fall by 15% from last winter because of milder temperatures and lower propane prices.

U.S. liquid fuels product supplied growth

U.S. Hydrocarbon gas liquids product supplied growth

U.S. crude oil production

U.S. commercial crude oil stocks

U.S. liquid fuels production growth

U.S. gasoline and crude oil prices

U.S. diesel fuel and crude oil prices

U.S. gasoline and distillate inventories

U.S. Petroleum and Other Liquids
  2017201820192020
Crude Oil prices (dollars per barrel)
WTI Spot Average 50.7965.0656.4554.60
Brent Spot Average 54.1571.1963.5960.10
Imported Average 48.9861.3457.0650.08
Refiner Average Acquisition Cost 50.6864.4858.0252.65
Retail prices including taxes (dollars per gallon)
Regular Gasoline 2.422.732.602.62
Diesel Fuel 2.653.183.063.04
Heating Oil 2.513.013.013.05
Production (million barrels per day)
Crude Oil 9.3510.9912.2913.29
Natural Gas Plant Liquids 3.784.374.895.44
Fuel Ethanol 1.041.051.031.03
Biodiesel 0.1040.1210.1230.135
Consumption (million barrels per day)
Motor Gasoline 9.339.339.339.31
Distillate Fuel Oil 3.934.154.104.15
Hydrocarbon Gas Liquids 2.643.013.183.40
Jet Fuel 1.681.711.751.77
Total Consumption 19.9620.5020.5820.75
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
U.S. Real GDP Growth 2.42.92.32.0
Heating Degree Days -1.311.80.3-2.5
Distillate-weighted Industrial Production 3.52.4-0.7-0.8

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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
U.S. crude oil production XLSX PNG
U.S. commercial crude oil stocks XLSX PNG
U.S. liquid fuels production growth XLSX PNG
U.S. liquid fuels product supplied growth XLSX PNG
U.S. gasoline and distillate inventories XLSX PNG
U.S. net trade of crude oil and liquid fuels XLSX PNG
U.S. natural gas plant liquids production XLSX PNG
U.S. hydrocarbon gas liquids consumption XLSX PNG
U.S. net trade of hydrocarbon gas liquids XLSX PNG
U.S. commercial propane inventories XLSX PNG
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions growth XLSX PNG
U.S. winter heating degree days XLSX PNG
U.S. census regions and census divisions XLSX PNG
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