Global liquid fuels
- For the 2017 April – September summer driving season, U.S. regular gasoline retail prices are forecast to average $2.46/gallon (/gal), compared with $2.23/gal last summer (see Summer Fuels Outlook). 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 spot prices averaged $52 per barrel (/b) in March, $3/b lower than the February average. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts Brent prices to average $54/b in 2017 and $57/b in 2018. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are forecast to average $2/b less than Brent prices in both 2017 and 2018.
- NYMEX contract values for July 2017 delivery traded during the five-day period ending April 6 suggest that a range of $41/b – $66/b encompasses the market expectation for WTI prices in July 2017 at the 95% confidence level.
- U.S. dry natural gas production is forecast to average 73.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2017, 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.
- In March, the average Henry Hub natural gas spot price was $2.88 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), 3 cents/MMBtu above the February level. Prices increased as temperatures in March returned to more seasonally typical levels after being significantly warmer than normal in February.
- New natural gas export capabilities and growing domestic natural gas consumption contribute to the forecast Henry Hub natural gas spot price rising from an average of $3.10/MMBtu in 2017 to $3.45/MMBtu in 2018. NYMEX contract values for July 2017 delivery traded during the five-day period ending April 6 suggest that a range of $2.49/MMBtu – $4.59/MMBtu encompasses the market expectation for Henry Hub natural gas prices in July 2017 at the 95% confidence level.