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The closing spot price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the U.S. benchmark for light, sweet crude, averaged $59.02 per barrel during the second week of July ’19, down 18.0 percent from $71.96 for the same period in ’18, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Despite ongoing tensions in the Middle East, fears of a softening global economy and falling global oil demand remain the dominant factors driving oil prices.
Monthly WTI prices averaged $54.66 per barrel in June ’19. During the 12 months ending June ’19, WTI averaged $60.86 per barrel, a 3.8 percent increase from $58.61 over the corresponding period in ’18.
During the second week of July ’19, Henry Hub natural gas spot prices averaged $2.47 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). In June ’19, monthly natural gas prices averaged $2.40 per MMBtu, down 19.2 percent from $2.97 in June last year. For the past 12 months, gas prices averaged $3.05 per MMBtu, compared to $2.95 for the same period in ’18.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects WTI to average $62 per barrel in the second half of ’19 and $63 in ’20. EIA expects Henry Hub natural gas spot prices to average $2.50/MMBtu in the second half of ’19 and $2.77 in ’20.
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research
Roel Gabe Martinez, GISP, CERP
Closing price for a barrel of WTI in mid-July '19
The EIA expects WTI to average $62 per barrel in second half of '19