The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the monthly revision to its Short-Term Energy Outlook today, and the major change is that the EIA expects the average price of a barrel of WTI crude to rise from a previous estimate of $93.17 a barrel to $94.67 a barrel at the end of 2013. The price of Brent crude is forecast to slide slightly, from $102.33 a barrel to $102.17.
The average price of a barrel of WTI over the course of 2013 is now estimated at $94.65 a barrel, while the annual average price of a barrel of Brent is now estimated at $104.68.
The EIA has stuck with its forecast for 2014, which puts both WTI and Brent at lower levels than this year. The price for WTI at the end of 2014 is forecast at $90.50 a barrel and Brent is forecast to cost $97.50 a barrel.
The price differential between WTI and Brent has closed from more than $20 a barrel in February to less than $5 now. The EIA now projects that the spread will close the year around $8 a barrel.
A gallon of regular gasoline is now forecast to average $3.31 at the end of this year, down $0.02 from last month’s forecast. The price forecast for regular gasoline at the end of 2014 remains unchanged at $3.22 a gallon.
Total U.S. crude production in now forecast to average 7.3 million barrels a day in 2013, rising to 8.1 million barrels a day in 2014.