|Short-Term Energy Outlook
February 6, 2018
U.S. crude oil production averaged an estimated 10.2 million barrels per day in January 2018, up 100,000 barrels per day from December 2017. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecast total U.S. crude oil production averaged 9.3 million barrels a day in 2017 and will average 10.6 million barrels per day in 2018. which would mark the highest annual average production in U.S. history, surpassing the previous record of 9.6 million barrels per day set in 1970. EIA forecasts that 2019 crude oil production will average 11.2 million barrels per day.
North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $69 per barrel in January, a $5 per barrel increase from the December average. On January 11, spot prices moved higher than $70 per barrel for the first time since December 2014. The North Sea Brent crude oil spot price is forecast to average $62 per barrel in 2018 and 2019 compared to an average of $54 per barrel in 2017. The West Texas Intermediate crude oil spot prices are forcast to average $4 per barrel lower than Brent in 2018 and 2019.
Gasoline and Diesel Prices
U.S. regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.55 per gallon in January, up 7 cents per gallon from December and 20 cents per gallon higher than last year. U.S. regular gasoline retail prices are forecast to average $2.62 per gallon in 2018 and $2.58 per gallon in 2019.
EIA expects on-highway diesel fuel retail prices to average $2.91 per gallon in 2018 and $2.87 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.