EIA ups forecasts for Brent, WTI prices

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 8

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

Brent spot prices are expected to average $70 per barrel in 2019 and $67 per barrel in 2020, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its May Short-term Energy Outlook (STEO), Trend reports.

“Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $71 per barrel (b) in April, up $5/b from March 2019 and just below the price in April of last year. EIA forecasts Brent spot prices will average $70/b in 2019 and $67/b in 2020, both about $5/b higher than in last month’s STEO, compared with an average of $71/b in 2018. EIA’s higher Brent crude oil price forecast reflects tighter expected global oil market balances in mid-2019 and increasing supply disruption risks globally,” said the report.

EIA said that crude oil prices increased for the fourth consecutive month in April, approaching six-month highs near the end of the month.

“Price increases have generally reflected a decline in global oil inventories during the first four months of the year, more recently occurring amid a backdrop of heightened market perceptions of oil supply risk. On April 22, 2019, the United States notified the eight countries that were initially granted sanction waivers allowing them to continue to import Iranian crude oil and condensate that the waivers will not be extended past their May 2 expiration. Front-month Brent crude oil prices increased by $2/b on April 22, but as of the time of writing, prices had declined to levels from before the announcement,” reads the report.

The higher forecast prices in this STEO also reflects increased geopolitical risk, according to EIA.

The report says that unrest within Venezuela contributes to a highly uncertain situation that could immediately disrupt the remaining oil production there. Even if the ongoing unrest does not cause additional disruptions, EIA forecasts that Venezuela’s production will continue to see significant declines through 2020.

Similarly, although recent fighting in Libya had not affected any crude oil production or export infrastructure as of the time of writing, the civil unrest has increased the disruption risk significantly, said EIA.

---

Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

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