WASHINGTON, 9th August, 2016 (WAM) – Benchmark North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $45/barrel (b) in July, a $3/b decrease from June and the first monthly decrease since the Brent price fell to a 12-year low of $31/b in January 2016, according to the Short-Term Energy Outlook of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Brent crude oil prices are forecast to average $42/b in 2016 and $52/b in 2017. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are forecast to be slightly less than Brent in 2016 and the same as Brent in 2017. The current values of futures and options contracts suggest high uncertainty in the price outlook. For example, EIA’s forecast of $44/b for the average WTI price in November 2016 should be considered in the context of Nymex contract values for November 2016 delivery. Contracts traded during the five-day period ending August 4 (Market Prices and Uncertainty Report) suggest the market expects WTI prices could range from $29/b to $61/b (at the 95 percent confidence interval) in November 2016.

U.S. crude oil production averaged 9.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2015. Production is forecast to average 8.7 million b/d in 2016 and 8.3 million b/d in 2017. EIA estimates that crude oil production for July 2016 averaged 8.6 million b/d, almost 0.2 million b/d below the June 2016 level, and 1.1 million b/d below the 9.7 million b/d reached in April 2015.


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