2017 US Short-Term Energy Outlook and Winter Fuels Outlook

US Energy Information Administration Acting Administrator John Conti issued the following comments on EIA’s October’s 2017 Short-Term Energy Outlook and Winter Fuels Outlook that was released on Wednesday:

Winter Fuels Outlook:
“After last year’s relatively warm winter, our forecast assumes this winter heating season will be more normal and see increased spending on heating oil, propane, and natural gas because of higher fuel consumption and prices. Expenditures are expected to be relatively in-line with an average winter.”

“We forecast that homes that depend on natural gas for heating will experience a 12% increase in their heating costs compared to last winter.”


Gasoline/Refined Products:

“Despite the late summer’s hurricane disruptions, petroleum markets have largely returned to normal operations. Gulf Coast refineries reached 86% utilization by the last week in September, which was only 5 percentage points below average utilization for this time of year.”

“Consumers should expect to see retail gasoline prices continue to decrease from the two-year high of $2.69 per gallon, following Hurricane Harvey. We are forecasting average prices at the pump will fall to $2.33 per gallon by December.”

“Crude oil production in the Gulf recovered following Harvey, with production increasing by about 70,000 barrels per day in September, putting that month’s average production at 1.7 million barrels per day.”

“Based on our observations of current drilling and our price expectations, the forecast continues to project that U.S. crude oil production in 2018 will top the 1970 annual production record of 9.6 million barrels per day, with the current output forecast at 9.9 million barrels per day next year.”

Natural Gas:
“We expect that natural gas inventories will reach 3.8 trillion cubic feet by the beginning of the heating season at the end of this month, in-line with average levels from the past five years.”

“U.S. natural gas exports are expected to grow this winter and mark the first winter the United States will be a net exporter of natural gas.”

Electricity:
“U.S. homes that depend on electricity for heating are forecast to see their bills increase by 8% this winter compared with last winter.”

Coal:
“Coal exports were up 62% from January to July 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, based on strong global demand.”

Renewables:
“For 2017, electricity generation from utility-scale solar power is expected to increase by 40% and small-scale solar is estimated to climb by 28%.”

The full STEO can be downloaded at: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/
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