Release Date: September 11, 2018
Global liquid fuels
- Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $73 per barrel (b) in August, down almost $2 from July. EIA expects Brent spot prices will average $73/b in 2018 and $74/b in 2019. EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices will average about $6/b lower than Brent prices in 2018 and in 2019. NYMEX WTI futures and options contract values for December 2018 delivery that traded during the five-day period ending September 6, 2018, suggest a range of $56/b to $85/b encompasses the market expectation for December WTI prices at the 95% confidence level.
- EIA estimates that U.S. crude oil production averaged 10.9 million barrels per day (b/d) in August, up by 120,000 b/d from June. EIA forecasts that U.S. crude oil production will average 10.7 million b/d in 2018, up from 9.4 million b/d in 2017, and will average 11.5 million b/d in 2019.
- EIA forecasts total global liquid fuels inventories to decrease by 0.4 million b/d in 2018 compared with 2017, followed by an increase of 0.1 million b/d in 2019. This outlook of relatively stable inventory levels during the forecast period contributes to a forecast of monthly average Brent crude oil prices remaining relatively stable, between $72/b and $76/b, from September 2018 through the end of 2019.
- EIA estimates dry natural gas production in the United States was 82.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in August, up 0.7 Bcf/d from July. Dry natural gas production is forecast to average 81.0 Bcf/d in 2018, up by 7.4 Bcf/d from 2017 and establishing a new record high. EIA expects natural gas production will continue to rise in 2019 to an average of 84.7 Bcf/d.
- EIA forecasts that U.S. natural gas inventories will total 3.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) at the end of October. This level would be 13% lower than the 2017 end-of-October level and 14% below the five-year (2013–17) average for the end of October, while also marking the lowest level for that time of year since 2005.
- EIA expects Henry Hub natural gas spot prices to average $2.99/million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2018 and $3.12/MMBtu in 2019. NYMEX futures and options contract values for December 2018 delivery that traded during the five-day period ending September 6, 2018, suggest a range of $2.31/MMBtu to $3.77/MMBtu encompasses the market expectation for December Henry Hub natural gas prices at the 95% confidence level.