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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: February 9, 2021  |  Forecast Completed: February 4, 2021  |  Next Release Date: March 9, 2021  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

U.S. Liquid Fuels

  • The February Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) remains subject to heightened levels of uncertainty because responses to COVID-19 continue to evolve. Reduced economic activity related to the COVID-19 pandemic has caused changes in energy demand and supply over the past year and will continue to affect these patterns in the future. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 3.6% in 2020 from 2019 levels. This STEO assumes U.S. GDP will grow by 3.8% in 2021 and by 4.2% in 2022. The U.S. macroeconomic assumptions in this outlook are based on forecasts by IHS Markit.
  • EIA estimates that U.S. crude oil production averaged 11.0 million b/d in January, which is down slightly from 11.1 million b/d in November (the most recent month for which historical data are available). EIA expects production will continue to decline slightly in the coming months, reaching 10.9 million b/d in June. Although oil-directed drilling has increased in the United States in recent months, the number of active drilling rigs remains lower than year-ago levels. EIA expects production from newly drilled wells will be more than offset by declining production rates at existing wells in the first half of 2021. However, based on EIA’s forecast that West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices will remain near or higher than $50/b during the forecast period, EIA expects drilling will continue to increase. As a result, production from new wells will exceed the declines from legacy wells, and overall crude oil production will increase in the second half of 2021 and in 2022. EIA estimates that U.S. crude oil production will average 11.0 million b/d in 2021—down from 11.3 million b/d in 2020 and 12.2 million b/d in 2019—and will rise to 11.5 million b/d in 2022.
  • U.S. regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.33 per gallon (gal) in January, compared with an average of $2.20/gal in December and $2.55/gal in January 2020. EIA forecasts gasoline prices to average $2.44/gal in 2021 and $2.46/gal in 2022. U.S. diesel fuel prices averaged $2.68/gal in January compared with $2.58/gal in December and $3.05/gal in January 2020, and EIA forecasts it will average $2.70/gal in 2021 and $2.77/gal in 2022.
  • On a volume basis, U.S. consumption of gasoline declined by more than other petroleum products in 2020. EIA forecasts that U.S. gasoline consumption will rise in the forecast but remain lower than 2019 levels. U.S. gasoline consumption is forecast to average 8.6 million b/d in 2021 and 8.9 million b/d in 2022, up from 8.0 million b/d in 2020 but lower than the 9.3 million b/d consumed in 2019.

U.S. liquid fuels product supplied growth

U.S. crude oil production

U.S. net imports of crude oil and liquid fuels

U.S. Hydrocarbon gas liquids product supplied growth

U.S. gasoline and crude oil prices

U.S. diesel fuel and crude oil prices

U.S. Petroleum and Other Liquids
  2019202020212022
Crude Oil prices (dollars per barrel)
WTI Spot Average 56.9939.1750.2151.56
Brent Spot Average 64.3441.6953.2055.19
Imported Average 57.9537.2448.0949.23
Refiner Average Acquisition Cost 59.3639.6849.1950.20
Retail prices including taxes (dollars per gallon)
Regular Gasoline 2.602.182.442.46
Diesel Fuel 3.062.552.702.77
Heating Oil 3.002.442.712.74
Production (million barrels per day)
Crude Oil 12.2511.3111.0211.53
Natural Gas Plant Liquids 4.825.165.395.70
Fuel Ethanol 1.030.900.981.01
Biodiesel 0.1120.1180.1220.130
Consumption (million barrels per day)
Motor Gasoline 9.318.048.628.93
Distillate Fuel Oil 4.103.763.984.09
Hydrocarbon Gas Liquids 3.143.173.323.53
Jet Fuel 1.741.081.391.70
Total Consumption 20.5418.0819.4320.43
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
U.S. Real GDP Growth 2.2-3.63.84.2
Heating Degree Days 0.6-9.33.72.0
Distillate-weighted Industrial Production -0.2-5.53.32.0

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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
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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