In its latest short-term energy outlook, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts spot Brent crude oil prices will average $64 per barrel in the second half of this year and $65 per barrel in 2020. EIA’s expectations of relative equilibrium in the global oil market and its forecast of stabilizing crude oil prices combine the risk of disruption of oil supply and lower expectations of economic growth.
EIA predicts that global oil stocks will increase by 100,000 barrels per day this year and 300,000 barrels per day by 2020.
EIA expects the price of West Texas intermediate crude oil to be lower than Brent crude oil by an average of $5.50 per barrel in the fourth quarter of this year and 2020, narrowing the gap from $6.60 per barrel in July. The narrowed price gap reflects EIA’s prediction that transportation restrictions on crude oil pipelines from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast will be eased in the coming months.
However, this latest variance forecast is larger than last month’s $4/barrel spread forecast, as EIA revised its marginal cost forecast for crude oil pipelined from Cushing to the Gulf Coast.