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Short-Term Energy Outlook January 7, 2014

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Highlights   

  • This edition of the Short‐Term Energy Outlook is the first to include forecasts for 2015.

  • After falling to the lowest monthly average of 2013 in November, U.S. regular gasoline retail prices increased slightly to reach an average of $3.28 per gallon (gal) during December.  The annual average regular gasoline retail price, which was $3.51/gal in 2013, is expected to fall to $3.46/gal in 2014 and $3.39/gal in 2015.

  • The North Sea Brent crude oil spot price in December averaged near $110 per barrel (bbl) for the sixth consecutive month.  EIA expects the Brent crude oil price to decline gradually to average $105/bbl and $102/bbl in 2014 and 2015, respectively.  Projected West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices average $93/bbl during 2014 and $90/bbl during 2015.

  • EIA expects liquid fuels production from countries outside of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to grow year-over-year by a record high of 1.9 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2014. The United States and Canada together are projected to account for almost 70% of total non-OPEC supply growth this year.

  • EIA estimates U.S. total crude oil production averaged 7.5 million bbl/d in 2013, an increase of 1.0 million bbl/d from the previous year.  Projected domestic crude oil production continues to increase to 8.5 million bbl/d in 2014 and 9.3 million bbl/d in 2015.  The 2015 forecast would mark the highest annual average level of production since 1972.

  • Natural gas working inventories on December 27 totaled 2.97 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), 0.56 Tcf below the level at the same time a year ago and 0.29 Tcf below the previous five-year average (2008-12).  EIA expects that the Henry Hub natural gas spot price, which averaged $3.73 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2013, will average $3.89/MMBtu in 2014 and $4.11/MMBtu in 2015.

  • Coal production, which fell by almost 9% between 2011 and 2013, is expected to increase by 36 million short tons (MMst) (3.6%) in 2014 as higher natural gas prices favor the dispatch of coal-fired power plants and the drawdown of coal inventory ends.  In 2015, however, forecast coal-fired production falls by 2.5% with declining coal use in the electric power sector as retirements of coal-fired power plants rise due to the implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/

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