On October 6, 2015, NASEO, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), convened the 2015 - 2016 Winter Energy Outlook Conference in Washington, D.C. This important annual event brought together leading energy data and forecasting experts to address the outlook for global oil, natural gas, and propane supplies and prices, and the effect of projected winter weather on the demand for these heating, agricultural, and transportation fuels.
This year's conference included a presentation on EIA's 2015 Winter Fuels Outlook, as well as panel discussions with energy experts from Citi, Bloomberg, and other firms about factors likely to affect energy markets this winter. EIA Assistant Administrator Howard Gruenspecht, discussed highlights from EIA's 2015 Winter Fuels Outlook, including:
• Average U.S. household energy expenditures are projected to be down from last winter. EIA also projects bills during the upcoming winter heating season could decrease because of lower fuel prices and lower heating demand due to the higher probability of warmer than normal temperatures across the northern United States by:
• 10% for natural gas,
• 25% for heating oil, and
• 18% for propane.
• Monthly gasoline prices are projected to decline to a national average of $2.03/gal in December 2015 and forecasts U.S. regular gasoline retail prices to average $2.38/gal in 2016.
• Crude oil production to projected to decrease through mid-2016 before growth resumes late in 2016.
• Natural gas inventories are projected to close the injection season at the end of October at 3,956 Bcf, which would be the highest end-of-October level on record.
• Propane and propylene inventories reached 98.7 million barrels, the highest level since EIA began collecting weekly propane inventory statistics in 1993 and 19 million barrels higher than at the same time last year.
Attendees also heard presentations on a range of issues including infrastructure, risk analysis, resiliency, distribution, climate adaptation, and related vulnerabilities, as well as presentations from a number of states on how they are approaching such issues as cyber security.
Presentations and video recordings from the conference are available on the NASEO website.