Feds release June 2013 short-term energy outlook

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released its updated short-term energy outlook.  The report describes recent trends in fuel and energy resource markets, and predicts future supply, demand, and prices.  Highlights from the June 2013 report include:

  • Gasoline prices to decrease: EIA predicts that the price of regular gasoline will average $3.53 per gallon over the summer driving season.  Noting a decrease from 2012's annual average retail price of $3.63 per gallon, EIA predicts that gasoline will continue to decline in price to $3.49 per gallon in 2013 and to $3.37 per gallon in 2014.  That said, EIA notes significant uncertainty about this forecast based in part on current values of futures and options contracts.

  • Crude oil prices to decrease: EIA predicts similar decreases in the price of crude oil through 2014.  Through much of the world, oil commodity pricing is based on the Brent crude price -- the price paid for a sweet light crude oil produced from Europe's North Sea fields.  Spot pricing for Brent crude bounced around in the first 5 months of 2012, ranging from a low of $97 per barrel in April to a high of $119 per barrel in February.  EIA expects a slow decrease in the Brent crude oil spot price, averaging $102 per barrel over the second half of 2013, and $100 per barrel in 2014. 

  • Electricity usage to decrease while prices increase: EIA's forecasts call for milder temperatures than last summer, driving air conditioning-related demand for electricity downward.  At the same time, EIA expects a 2% increase in average prices for delivered electricity this summer.  Last year, the U.S. residential electricity price averaged 11.9 cents per kWh.  EIA expects this summer's average price to rise to 12.3 cents/kWh, with a 1.1 percent price increase in 2013 and a 1.9 percent in 2014. 

EIA's projections are based on a variety of assumptions about the domestic and global economies, energy project development, and weather-related demand for energy products.  EIA's next short-term energy outlook will be released on July 9, 2013.

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