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  Short-Term Energy Outlook
January 9, 2018

Crude Oil

U.S. crude oil production averaged an estimated 9.3 million barrels per day in 2017 and is estimated to have averaged 9.9 million barrels per day in December. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts total U.S. crude oil production to average 10.3 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 production to increase to an average of 10.8 million barrels per day in 2019 and to surpass 11 million barrels per day in November 2019.

North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $64 per barrel in December, an almost $2 per barrel increase from the November average and the highest monthly average since November 2014. The North Sea Brent crude oil spot price is forecast to average $54 per barrel in 2017, $60 per barrel in 2018 and $61 per barrel in 2019. 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 $2.48 per gallon in December, down 9 cents per gallon from November but 22 cents higher than last year. U.S. regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.42 per gallon in 2017 and are forecast to average $2.57 per gallon in 2018 and $2.58 per gallon in 2019.

The Energy Information Administration expects on-highway diesel fuel retail prices, which have averaged $2.65 per gallon in 2017, will average $2.95 per gallon in 2018 and $3.01 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.

  Current Gas and Diesel Prices
Daily Prices and Services from AAA
  • National
  • Nebraska Average
  • Gas Cost Calculator

  • Find the Lowest Prices
  • Gas Price Watch
  • Mapquest Gas Prices
  • Nebraska Gas Prices

  • Weekly and Historical Prices from the Nebraska Energy Office
  • Nebraska Gasoline and Diesel Prices
  • Weekly Production & Supply Analysis
  • Weekly Average Retail Motor Fuel Prices by Fuel Class Nebraska and Seven Cities

  • Prices from the Energy Information Administration
  • Selected U.S. Regional Gasoline and Diesel Prices

  •   Consumer Complaints

    Gas prices are not regulated. Consumers can file complaints with the Consumer Affairs Division in the Attorney General’s office.
  • Attorney General's Office
  • Report of the Attorney General’s Task Force On Motor Fuel Pricing in Nebraska -- January 2006

  •   Frequently Asked Questions

  • "Where does gasoline come from?" and 5 other questions are answered in the Primer on Gasoline Sources and Markets from the Energy Information Administration.
  • "What affects the price of gasoline?" and other questions in the Primer on Gasoline Prices from the Energy Information Administration.
  • Have other questions? Check the weekly Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update, published by the Energy Information Administration.


    Ways to Save Gas and Fuel

    Purchase Fuel Wisely and Save Up to 20%

    • Use the Right Grade of Gasoline / Don't Top Off the Tank: Most cars run fine on regular gas. Check your vehicle owner's manual to find out what fuel is right for your car. Don't "top off" at the pump and make sure your fuel fill cap is on tight and working right. Regular grade fuel usually costs 10 percent less than premium gasoline.
    • Look for the Best Price / Limit Purchases When Prices Are High: Today's gasolines are all very similar, so choose stations in your area with the lowest prices. Avoid filling the tank when prices are high. Fuel prices can sometimes vary 10 percent in an area.

    Alter Travel Practices and Save Up to 30%

    • Use Carpooling, Public Transit and Non-Motorized Options: Ride the bus, carpool, bicycle or walk instead of driving alone. Sharing a ride to work with a friend or two effectively doubles your fuel economy for the trip.
    • Take Advantage of Telecommuting and Telecommunications Technology: Some employers offer telecommuting as an option. Use the computer and telephone to replace vehicle trips for business, shopping and services when possible.

    Drive More Efficiently and Save Up to 20%

    • Don't Drive Aggressively / Drive at the Speed Limit: Avoid aggressive driving and jack-rabbit-like starts. All vehicles lose fuel economy at speeds above 65 miles per hour. Driving 65, instead of 75 mph, reduces fuel cost about 13 percent.
    • Running your car's air conditioning is the main contributor to reduced fuel economy in hot weather. Its effect depends on a number of factors, such as the outside temperature, humidity, and intensity of the sun. Under very hot conditions, AC use can reduce a conventional vehicle's fuel economy by more than 25%. Driving with your windows down can also reduce fuel economy. Open windows increase aerodynamic drag (wind resistance), making your vehicle use more energy to push through the air. This effect is quite small at low speeds but increases at highway speeds.
    • What can I do to improve my fuel economy in hot weather?
      • Roll the windows down at lower speeds; use the AC at highway speeds.
      • Don't use the AC more than needed or set the temperature lower than needed.
      • Park in the shade or use a sunshade so that the cabin doesn't get as hot.
      • Drive with the windows open for a short time before using the AC. Letting hot air out of the cabin first will put less demand on the AC and help your vehicle cool faster.
      • Don't idle with the AC running before driving. Turn the AC on after you begin to drive or after airing out the cabin briefly. Most AC systems will cool the vehicle faster while driving.
      • Read your owner's manual. Most manuals explain how the AC system controls work and how to best use and maintain the AC system.
      • For plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, pre-cooling the cabin while plugged into the charger can extend your vehicle's range. Also, using a warmer temperature setting for the AC will use less battery power.
    • Eliminate Extra Wind Resistance and Weight: Using a loaded roof rack increases fuel consumption. Carry the load inside your vehicle if you can. Removing any unnecessary weight is even better.
    • Minimize Vehicle Idling: Today's vehicles are designed to warm up fast. Avoid idling when you can. An idling vehicle gets 0 miles a gallon.

    Improve the Efficiency of the Vehicle You Drive — save up to 50%

    • Maintain Vehicle Efficiency: Regular maintenance as prescribed by the vehicle owner's manual will help your vehicle achieve its best fuel economy. Some overlooked maintenance items, such as a dirty air filter and under inflated tires, can increase your fuel cost up to 13 percent. When purchasing new tires, replace them with the same make and model as the tires that were on your vehicle when it was new.
    • Drive or Purchase a Fuel Efficient Vehicle: Drive your most fuel-efficient vehicle whenever possible. When purchasing, consider the most fuel efficient vehicle and save up to 50 percent. Consider a hybrid-electric, a diesel vehicle or even a motorcycle. The next best option is to purchase the most fuel efficient vehicle within the class of vehicles you are considering. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy web site provides information on the most fuel efficient vehicles.
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