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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 $50.83 per barrel during the second week of February ’20, down 5.0 percent from $53.53 for the same period in ’19, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. A mild winter season and the spreading of coronavirus to several other countries continue exerting downward pressures on global demand for oil and natural gas. And while oil prices rose following OPEC’s agreement to production cuts last December, the lack of consensus on a second round of cuts led to a price collapse.
Monthly WTI prices averaged $57.68 per barrel in January ’20. During the 12 months ending January ’20, WTI averaged $57.51 per barrel, a 10.0 percent decrease from $63.91 over the corresponding period in ’19.
During the second week of February ’20, Henry Hub natural gas spot prices averaged $1.90 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). In January ’20, monthly natural gas prices averaged $2.02 per MMBtu, down 35.0 percent from $3.11 in January last year. For the past 12 months, gas prices averaged $2.48 per MMBtu, compared to $3.10 for the same period in ’19.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects WTI to average $59.50 per barrel in ’20. EIA expects Henry Hub natural gas spot prices to average $2.33/MMBtu in ’20.
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research
Roel Gabe Martinez, GISP, CERP
Closing price for a barrel of WTI in mid-February '20
The EIA expects WTI to average $59.50 per barrel in '20