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Notable Forecast Changes
- EIA forecasts that U.S. crude oil production will average 11.5 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2019, which is 0.2 million b/d lower than forecast in the August STEO. The lower production reflects more severe constraints in Permian region pipeline takeaway capacity than previously expected, which results in slower expected crude oil production growth in that region. The lower forecast is also the result of a reevaluation of projects in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. EIA now expects production in that region to proceed at a slightly slower pace than previously assumed.
- EIA forecasts Brent crude oil prices to average $74 per barrel (b) and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices to average more than $67/b in 2019. Both of these forecasts are $3/b higher than the forecast from the August STEO. The higher price forecast reflects a lower forecast for global oil supply in 2019 based on lower expected production from the United States, Canada, and OPEC noncrude oil liquids. The lower production forecast is only partially offset by lower forecast oil demand for next year. EIA expects global oil inventories to rise by about 0.1 million b/d next year, which is 0.2 million b/d lower than previously forecast.
- EIA expects U.S. coal exports to be 107 million short tons (MMst) in 2018 and 101 MMst in 2019, which are 5 MMst and 4 MMst higher, respectively, than expected in the August STEO. The higher forecast reflects the incorporation of higher than expected exports during the first half of 2018, which has raised the base for the rest of the forecast period.
- EIA uses IHS Markit to provide history and forecasts for macroeconomic data in STEO. Beginning with this forecast, IHS Markit incorporated revised historical data and rebased 2012-dollar concepts from the Bureau of Economic Analysis comprehensive revisions. Therefore, national income accounting variables are now stated in 2012 dollars instead of in 2009 dollars as reported in the previous STEO. This change results in a level shift upward for several of the macroeconomic variables reported in STEO, most notably U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). In this forecast, GDP is forecast to average $18.6 trillion in 2018 and $19.1 trillion in 2019, compared with $17.6 trillion and $18.1 trillion, respectively, for those years in the August STEO.
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