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The closing spot price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the U.S. benchmark for light, sweet crude, averaged $52.01 per barrel in January ’21, down 9.6 percent from $57.52 for the same period in ’20, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). After sinking to less than $17 per barrel in April, crude prices have gradually improved. In recent months, the ongoing rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine has spurred optimism that the economic growth will soon pick up and with it demand for crude. Saudi Arabia’s recent announcement that it plans to cut its own production by an additional one million barrels per day has also helped lift prices.
For the 12 months ending January ’21, WTI averaged $38.76 per barrel, a 32.6 percent decrease from $57.50 over the corresponding period in ’20.
In January ’21, natural gas prices averaged $2.71 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), up 34.2 percent from $2.02 in December the year before. For the 12 months ending January ‘21, gas prices averaged $2.09 per MMBtu, compared to $2.48 for the same period in ’20.
EIA expects WTI to average $50.21 per barrel in ’21. EIA expects Henry Hub natural gas spot prices to average $2.95/MMBtu in ’21.
Prepared by Greater Houston Partnership Research Department
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research
The EIA expects WTI to average $50.21 per barrel in '21
Closing price for a barrel of WTI in January '21
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