The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently issued its short-term energy outlook.
Via EIA, the organization forecasts Brent crude oil prices to average $43 per barrel in 2016 and $52 per barrel in 2017. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are forecast to average about $1 less than Brent prices in 2017. EIA says the values of futures and options contracts indicate significant uncertainty in the price outlook. It adds the NYMEX contract values for March 2017 delivery traded during the five-day period ending Dec. 1 suggest a range from $34 per barrel to $71 per barrel encompasses the market expectation of WTI prices in March 2017 at the 95% confidence level.
EIA says lower crude-oil prices contributed to U.S. average retail regular gasoline prices in November averaging $2.18 per gallon, a decline of 7 cents per gallon from the October level. EIA expects gasoline prices to fall to an average of $2.10/gal in January. Retail gasoline prices are forecast to average $2.14 per gallon in 2016 and $2.30 per gallon in 2017.
EIA notes growing domestic natural gas consumption along with higher pipeline exports to Mexico and liquefied natural gas exports contribute to the Henry Hub natural gas spot price rising from an average of $2.49 per million Btu in 2016 to $3.27/MMBtu in 2017. NYMEX contract values for March 2017 delivery traded during the five-day period ending Dec. 1 suggest a price range from $2.20/MMBtu to $5.04/MMBtu encompasses the market expectation of Henry Hub natural gas prices in March 2017 at the 95% confidence level.
And finally, EIA states despite recent increases in global coal prices, spot U.S. coal prices have remained unchanged for the past six weeks. The delivered coal price averaged $2.23/MMBtu in 2015. Forecast coal prices average $2.14/MMBtu in 2016 (a 4% decline) and $2.21/MMBtu in 2017 (a 3% increase).
WTI Crude Prices
2014: $93.17 (per barrel)
2017: $50.66 (forecast)
Brent Crude Prices
2014: $98.99 (per barrel)
2017: $51.66 (forecast)
Natural Gas Prices
2014: $10.94 (dollars per cubic foot)
For more, visit www.eia.gov/outlooks.