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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 $56.16 per barrel during the second week of September ’19, down 18.6 percent from $68.96 for the same period in ’18, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Despite the recent oil outage in Saudi Arabia due to a drone attack on Abqaiq crude processing facilities, surging U.S. production and fears of falling oil demand precipitated by a softening global economy have kept prices in the mid-$50s.
Monthly WTI prices averaged $54.81 per barrel in August ’19. During the 12 months ending August ’19, WTI averaged $58.62 per barrel, a 5.9 percent decrease from $62.31 over the corresponding period in ’18.
During the second week of September ’19, Henry Hub natural gas spot prices averaged $2.64 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). In August ’19, monthly natural gas prices averaged $2.22 per MMBtu, down 25.0 percent from $2.96 in August last year. For the past 12 months, gas prices averaged $2.95 per MMBtu, compared to $2.94 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-September '19
The EIA expects WTI to average $62 per barrel in second half of '19