Short-Term Energy Outlook

September 10, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC – September 9, 2008 – Short-Term Energy Outlook – Highlights

  • The monthly average price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil decreased from over $133 per barrel in June and July to about $117 per barrel in August, reflecting expectations of a slowdown in world petroleum demand growth.  WTI, which averaged $72 per barrel in 2007, is projected to average $116 per barrel in 2008.  Projected stronger growth in world petroleum demand is expected to increase the annual average WTI price to $126 per barrel in 2009.
  • The weekly price of regular-grade gasoline, which peaked at $4.11 per gallon on July 14, averaged $3.65 per gallon on September 8.  Annual average retail gasoline and diesel prices in 2008 are projected to be $3.61 and $4.09 per gallon, respectively, compared with $2.81 for gasoline and $2.88 for diesel in 2007.  Following the expected increase in the annual average crude oil price, gasoline and diesel prices are projected to average $3.88 and $4.26 per gallon, respectively, in 2009.
  • The Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged $7.17 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) in 2007 and is expected to average about $9.70 per Mcf in 2008 and $8.55 per Mcf in 2009. 
  • Residential heating oil prices during the upcoming heating season (October though March) are projected to average $4.13 per gallon, an increase of about 25 percent over last heating season.  Residential natural gas prices over the same period are projected to average $14.93 per Mcf compared with $12.72 per Mcf during the last heating season, an increase of about 17 percent.
  • Heating fuel expenditures for the average household using oil as its primary heating fuel are expected to increase by $585 (30 percent) over last winter.  The corresponding average expenditure increases for households heated with natural gas and propane are $162 (19 percent) and $217 (13 percent), respectively.



To see details of this forecast update, go to the following World Wide Web site on the Internet: