The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently unveiled its Short-Term Energy Outlook. Highlights of the report included:
- For the 2017 April-through-September summer driving season, gas prices are forecast to average $2.46/gallon (gal), compared with $2.23/gal last summer. The higher forecast gasoline price is primarily the result of higher forecast crude oil prices. For all of 2017, the forecast average price for regular gasoline is $2.39/gal, which, if realized, would result in the average U.S. household spending about $200 more on motor fuel in 2017 compared with 2016.
- U.S. crude oil production averaged an estimated 8.9 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2016. U.S crude oil production is forecast to average 9.2 million b/d in 2017 and 9.9 million b/d in 2018.
- North Sea Brent crude oil prices averaged $52 per barrel (b) in March, $3/b lower than the February average. EIA forecasts Brent prices to average $54/b in 2017 and $57/b in 2018.
- U.S. dry natural gas production is forecast a 0.8 Bcf/d increase from the 2016 level. This increase reverses a 2016 production decline, which was the first annual decline since 2005. Natural gas production in 2018 is forecast to be 4.0 Bcf/d above the 2017 level. New natural gas export capabilities and growing domestic natural gas consumption contribute to the forecast.
- Total U.S. electricity generation forecasts show a decline of 0.7 percent in 2017, followed by a 1.7 percent increase in 2018.
- EIA expects the share of electricity generation from natural gas to fall from an average of 34 percent in 2016 to 32 percent in both 2017 and 2018 as a result of higher expected natural gas prices.
- Coal's forecast generation share rises from 30 percent in 2016 to 31 percent in both 2017 and 2018.
- Non-hydropower renewables are forecast to provide 9 percent of electricity generation in 2017 and nearly 10 percent in 2018.
- The generation share of hydropower is forecast to be relatively unchanged at 7 percent between 2016 and 2018.
- The nuclear share of generation is projected to decline from about 20 percent in 2016 and 2017 to 19 percent in 2018.
- Wind energy capacity is expected to rise from 81 to 95 gigawatts (GW) by the end of 2018.
- Utility-scale solar generation capacity is forecast to increase by 44 percent by the end of 2018. With that growth, solar will account for more than one percent f total utility-scale electricity generation in 2018.
The full report can be viewed at http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/.