The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) revised up global crude oil prices for 2021, the EIA announced Tuesday in its February Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).
International benchmark Brent crude is now estimated to average $53.20 per barrel in 2021, compared to the agency's previous forecast of $52.70 last month.
Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $55 per barrel in January, up $5 per barrel from the December average but $9 per barrel lower than the average in January of last year, according to the EIA.
Higher Brent prices in January largely reflected the Jan. 5 announcement by Saudi Arabia that it would unilaterally cut 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil production in February and March, in addition to the reduced production levels on which the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, previously agreed, the agency explained.
Brent crude oil prices will average $56 per barrel in the first quarter of 2021 and $52 per barrel over the remainder of the year, the EIA said.
It expects lower oil prices later in 2021 as a result of rising oil supply that will slow the pace of global oil inventory withdrawals. It also forecasts that high global oil inventory levels and spare production capacity will limit upward price pressures.
The EIA forecast that Brent oil will average $55.19 per barrel in 2022 and American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is expected to average $50.21 for 2021 and $51.56 next year.
- US crude output for 2021 revised down
The statistics agency estimates that US crude oil production will average 11 million bpd in 2021 -- down from 11.3 million bpd in 2020 and 12.2 million bpd in 2019 -- and will rise to 11.5 million bpd in 2022.
According to the agency, total world consumption of petroleum and liquid fuels will average 97.7 million bpd for all of 2021, which is up by 5.4 million bpd from 2020, however slightly down from the previous forecast of 97.77 million bpd.
The agency also estimated that global consumption next year will increase by 3.5 million bpd to average 101.2 million bpd.
By Firdevs Yuksel