News | February 9, 2021

EIA Releases February's Short-Term Energy Outlook

Available downloads:
Complete Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO):
Winter Fuels Outlook:

EIA Contacts:
STEO Product Manager: Tim Hess, 202-586-4212 (  

Media Relations: Chris Higginbotham (  

EIA Acting Administrator, Steve Nalley, issued the following comments about the February 2021 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), which was released on Tuesday, February 9.

Liquid fuels
“Continued restraint in production by OPEC and its partner countries contributed to a $5 increase in crude oil spot prices in January, averaging $55 per barrel for the month.”

“EIA expects Brent crude oil prices to fall from an expected $56 per barrel in the first quarter of 2021 to an average of $52 per barrel over the rest of the year. The price drop reflects a rise in global oil supply that will slow the pace of global oil inventory withdrawals.”

“EIA forecasts U.S. crude oil production to continue decreasing slightly in the first half of 2021 as declining production rates at existing oil wells offset production from newly drilled wells. However, we expect that U.S. crude oil production will increase in the second half of 2021 and in 2022.”

“Consumers can expect to see retail gasoline prices average $2.44 per gallon in 2021, up 26 cents from 2020 but down 16 cents from 2019.”

Natural Gas
“The U.S. benchmark Henry Hub natural gas spot price continues to increase after reaching its lowest annual average price in decades during 2020. EIA expects Henry Hub spot prices will average $2.95 per million British thermal units in 2021 and increase further to $3.27 per million British thermal units in 2022.”

“Increased use of natural gas for space heating this winter and strong liquefied natural gas exports at a time when U.S. natural gas production is relatively low will cause natural gas inventories—currently running above five-year average levels—to return to average levels by the end of March.”

“EIA expects U.S. coal exports to increase 24% in 2021 as the global economy recovers and the demand for power and steel production increases demand for coal.”

“We currently project that the share of U.S. electric power generated from natural gas will fall from 39% in 2020 to 35% by 2022 as a result of higher natural gas prices.”

“EIA expects that renewables will continue to be the fastest-growing source of electricity generation in the United States through 2022 as the share of U.S. electricity generation coming from renewables rises to 23% of generation in 2022 from 20% in 2020.”

Source: EIA