The U.S.' Energy Information Administration (EIA) revised up its crude oil price forecasts for 2019, according to its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) for April released on Tuesday.
The price estimate for Brent crude has been revised up by $2 a barrel for this year, and is now expected to average $65 per barrel in 2019. The previous estimate for the international benchmark was $63 a barrel this year, according to the EIA's March STEO.
The EIA said it expects West Texas Intermediate to average $57 per barrel in the first half of 2019. The American benchmark was estimated to average $54 a barrel in the first half of this year, according to the STEO for March.
For 2020, the administration kept the price forecast for both benchmarks unchanged. Brent oil is expected to average $62 a barrel next year, while WTI is estimated to average $58 per barrel.
"Increasing crude oil supply disruptions and voluntary reductions in oil production from OPEC are among the recent price drivers in the crude oil market," the EIA said in its April STEO.
"Venezuela, in particular, has experienced several prolonged electric power failures throughout the country, which has directly resulted in reduced crude oil production and exports," it added.
-US crude output forecast revised up
The EIA revised up the U.S.' crude oil production forecast for both 2019 and 2020 by 0.1 million barrels per day (mbpd), according to April's STEO.
Crude output in the country is now estimated to average 12.4 mbpd in 2019, compared to the average 12.3 mbpd projected in the report for March.
For 2020, crude production in the U.S. is expected to average 13.1 mbpd, up from the previous forecast of 13 mbpd quoted in the March report.
The U.S.' output of crude oil rose to 11.7 mbpd in November 2018 to overtake Russia as the world's largest crude oil producer.
Crude oil production in the country increased to a new record high level of 12.2 mbpd for the week ending March 29, according to the EIA data.
By Ovunc Kutlu