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Short-Term Energy Outlook Sept. 8


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Short-Term Energy Outlook
September 8, 2010 Release

  • These projections reflect updated expectations for economic activity, with forecasted U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.8 percent in 2010 and 2.3 percent in 2011, down from the previous Outlook's growth projections of 3.1 and 2.7 percent for 2010 and 2011, respectively.  The 2011 world oil-consumption-weighted real GDP growth rate is also lowered, to 3.3 percent from the 3.6 percent level in last month's Outlook.

  • EIA projects that the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) spot price, which averaged $77 per barrel in August, will average $77 per barrel in the fourth quarter of 2010 and $82 per barrel in 2011, slightly below the forecasts in last month's Outlook.

  • EIA expects that regular-grade motor gasoline retail prices, which averaged $2.35 per gallon last year, will average $2.69 per gallon over the second half of 2010, down 7 cents per gallon from the average for the first half of the year.  In 2011, higher projected crude oil prices combined with strengthening refiner margins are expected to boost annual average motor gasoline prices to $2.90 per gallon.

  • The projected Henry Hub natural gas spot price averages $4.54 per million Btu (MMBtu) for 2010, a $0.60-per-MMBtu increase over the 2009 average, but down $0.15 per MMBtu from the forecast in last month's Outlook.  EIA expects the Henry Hub spot price will average $4.76 per MMBtu in 2011, down $0.22 per MMBtu from last month's Outlook.

  • The annual average residential electricity price increases only moderately over the forecast period, averaging 11.6 cents per kilowatthour (kWh) in 2010, compared with 11.5 cents per kWh in 2009, and rising to 11.9 cents per kWh in 2011.  These projections are virtually unchanged from the previous Outlook.

  • Estimated U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels, which declined by 6.9 percent in 2009, are expected to increase by 3.6 percent in 2010.  In 2011, projected CO2 emissions increase by a further 0.4 percent as the expected milder summer reduces electricity use.  However, even with these increases, CO2 emissions remain below their level in any year from 1999 through 2008.

To see details of this forecast update, go to the following World Wide Web site on the Internet:

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