|Short-Term Energy Outlook
August 9, 2018
U.S. crude oil production averaged an estimated 10.8 million barrels per day in July 2018, up 47,000 barrels per day from June. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts total U.S. crude oil production will average 10.7 million barrels a day in 2018 and will average 11.7 million barrels per day in 2019.
North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $74 per barrel in July, unchanged from the June average. The North Sea Brent crude oil spot price is forecast to average $72 per barrel in 2018 and $71 per barrel in 2019 compared to an average of $54 per barrel in 2017. The West Texas Intermediate crude oil spot prices are forecast to average $6 per barrel lower than Brent in 2018 and in 2019.
Gasoline and Diesel Prices
U.S. regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.85 per gallon in July, 2018, down 4 cents from the average in June. EIA expects that 2018 monthly average gasoline prices peaked in May and forecasts prices to remain relatively flat in the coming months to an average of $2.83 per gallon in September. EIA expects regular gasoline retail prices to average $2.76 per gallon in 2018 and in 2019.
EIA expects on-highway diesel fuel retail prices to average $3.15 per gallon for 2018 and $3.11 in 2019.
The peak price of $4.10 per gallon for gasoline in Nebraska was reached on July 15, 2008.
The peak price of $4.77 per gallon for diesel in Nebraska was reached on July 17, 2008.
Because taxes and retail distribution costs are generally stable, movements in gasoline and diesel prices are driven primarily by changes in crude oil prices and wholesale margins. Crude oil prices that differ from the forecast would be reflected in the price of motor fuels. Each dollar per barrel of sustained change in crude oil prices relative to the forecast translates into approximately a 2.4 cent-per-gallon change in product prices.