Release Date: March 12, 201
Global liquid fuels
- Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $64 per barrel (b) in February, up $5/b from January 2019 and about $1/b lower than at the same time last year. EIA forecasts Brent spot prices will average $63/b in 2019 and $62/b in 2020, compared with an average of $71/b in 2018. EIA expects that West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices will average $9/b lower than Brent prices in the first half of 2019 before the discount gradually falls to $4/b in the fourth quarter of 2019 and throughout 2020.
- EIA estimates that U.S. crude oil production averaged 11.9 million barrels per day (b/d) in February, down slightly from the January average. EIA forecasts that U.S. crude oil production will average 12.3 million b/d in 2019 and 13.0 million b/d in 2020, with most of the growth coming from the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico.
- Net imports of U.S. crude oil and petroleum products fell from an average of 3.8 million b/d in 2017 to an average of 2.3 million b/d in 2018. EIA forecasts that net imports will continue to fall to an average of 1.0 million b/d in 2019 and to an average net export level of 0.1 million b/d in 2020. In the fourth quarter of 2020, EIA forecasts that the United States will be a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products by about 0.9 million b/d.
- The Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged $2.69/million British thermal units (MMBtu) in February, down 42 cents/MMBtu from January. EIA expects strong growth in U.S. natural gas production to put downward pressure on prices in 2019. EIA expects Henry Hub natural gas spot prices will average $2.85/MMBtu in 2019, down 30 cents/MMBtu from 2018. NYMEX futures and options contract values for June 2019 delivery traded during the five-day period ending March 7, 2019, suggest a range of $2.40/MMBtu to $3.51/MMBtu encompasses the market expectation for June 2019 Henry Hub natural gas prices at the 95% confidence level.
- EIA forecasts that dry natural gas production will average 90.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2019, up 7.4 Bcf/d from 2018. EIA expects natural gas production will continue to rise in 2020 to an average of 92.0 Bcf/d.
- EIA expects natural gas inventories will end March at 1.2 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), which would be 14% lower than levels from a year earlier and 28% lower than the five-year (2014–18) average. EIA forecasts that natural gas storage injections will outpace the previous five-year average during the April-through-October injection season and that inventories will reach 3.6 Tcf at the end of October, which would be 12% higher than October 2018 levels and 2% below the five-year average.