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The closing spot price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the U.S. benchmark for light, sweet crude, averaged $68.57 per barrel in September ’21, up from $40.30 for the same period in ’20, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). September ’21 marked the seventh month in a row when prices averaged over $60.
Job gains since the economy began reopening last May have contributed to rising energy consumption. Increased output by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and 10 non-OPEC partner countries (collectively known as OPEC+) has helped meet this upturn in demand. However, production disruptions in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by hurricanes Ida and Nicholas during September ’21, contributed to the rise in prices. In the last half of the month, WTI averaged over $70.00 per barrel.
Supply disruptions and heavy use due to extreme weather conditions continue to affect global natural gas stockpiles. September’s natural gas prices averaged $4.78 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), up 128.7 percent from $2.09 in September the year before. For the 12 months ending September ’21, gas prices averaged $3.35 per MMBtu, compared to $2.00 for the same period in ’20.
In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, the EIA forecasts WTI to average $68.48 per barrel and Henry Hub natural gas spot prices to average $4.33/MMBtu this year.
Prepared by Greater Houston Partnership Research Department
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research
Closing price for a barrel of WTI in September '21
The EIA expects WTI to average $68.48 per barrel in '21
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