After increasing to $119 per barrel in early February 2013, the Brent crude oil spot price fell to a low of $97 per barrel in mid-April and then recovered to an average of $103 per barrel in May. EIA expects that the Brent crude oil spot price will average $102 per barrel over the second half of 2013, and $100 per barrel in 2014.
EIA expects the price of regular gasoline will average $3.53 per gallon over the summer driving season (April through September). The annual average regular gasoline retail price is projected to decline from $3.63 per gallon in 2012 to $3.49 per gallon in 2013 and to $3.37 per gallon in 2014. Energy price forecasts are highly uncertain, and the current values of futures and options contracts suggest that prices could differ significantly from the projected levels.
In April 2013, estimated total liquid fuels consumption in non-OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries reached 44.5 million barrels per day (bbl/d), which was higher than consumption in OECD countries (44.3 million bbl/d) for the first time in history. EIA expects that consumption in OECD countries will average 45.5 million bbl/d in 2013 compared with 44.6 million bbl/d for non-OECD countries. EIA forecasts annual average non-OECD total liquids consumption to surpass OECD levels in 2014.
EIA expects electrical costs to be reduced by 2.5% this summer EIA forecasts the summer 2013 average U.S. residential electric bill will total $395 over the three-month period of June, July, and August, which is $10 (2.5 percent) lower than the average customer's bill during summer 2012 (see Summer 2013 Outlook for Residential Electric Bills). Forecast milder temperatures than last summer contribute to a projected decline in average electricity usage per customer, which is partially offset by a projected 2-percent increase in average electricity prices.
Based on the outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for above-normal tropical weather activity this year, EIA estimates median outcomes for total shut-in production in the federal Gulf of Mexico (GOM) during the current hurricane season (June through November) of about 19 million barrels of crude oil and 46 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas (see 2013 Outlook for Hurricane-Related Production Outages in the Gulf of Mexico). Actual shut-ins are likely to differ significantly from this estimate depending on the number, track, and strength of hurricanes as the season progresses.