The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) revised up global crude oil prices for 2020 and 2021, the EIA announced Wednesday in its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) for December.
International benchmark Brent crude is estimated to average $41.43 in 2020 recording a 2.1% increase compared to the agency's forecast last month.
The EIA also revised up its Brent oil price forecast by 4.2% to $48.53 for 2021.
"The forecast for higher crude oil prices next year reflects EIA’s expectation that while inventories will remain high, they will decline with rising global oil demand and restrained OPEC+ oil production."
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is expected to average $38.96 for this year and $45.78 next year, the EIA said.
It indicated that the revisions reflected heightened levels of uncertainty because responses to COVID-19 are still evolving.
"Reduced economic activity related to the COVID-19 pandemic has caused changes in energy demand and supply patterns in 2020 and will continue to affect these patterns in the future," the Administration said.
- US crude output for 2020 revised down
The statistics agency forecast that OPEC crude oil production would average 27.5 million bpd in 2021, up from an estimated 25.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2020.
The agency said the revision reflects OPEC's announced potential increases to production targets and production increases in Libya.
The EIA revised down its US crude oil production estimate for this year to 11.3 million bpd in 2020, down from 12.2 million bpd in 2019.
The agency also forecast that US crude output for 2021 would be 11.1 bpd.
However, it estimated that production in March would decline to less than 11.0 million bpd mostly because of falling production in the Lower 48 states, where the EIA expects that declining production rates at existing wells would outpace production from newly drilled wells in the coming months.
The EIA revised up its global oil supply outlook for next year.
Global supply is now forecast to average 94.42 million bpd this year, instead of the previous estimate of 94.25 million bpd; and will total 98.39 million bpd next year from the previous forecast of 97.42 million bpd.
The EIA lowered its total world consumption forecast for this year from 92.91 million bpd to 92.04 million bpd and from 98.80 million bpd to 98.16 million bpd for next year.
By Sibel Morrow