08 November 2011 19:43 [Source: ICIS news]
In its monthly short term energy outlook (STEO), the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) said it expects the
That outlook marks an increase from the administration’s estimate of last month, which predicted average crude costs of $99/bbl for this year and only $98/bbl for 2012.
The forecast for higher average crude oil prices comes in spite of what the administration said were its lower expectations for global economic growth.
The EIA, the department’s energy data and analysis branch, said global gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2012 would be only 3.1%, down from the administration’s month-earlier estimate of 3.5% GDP growth for next year.
But while global economic growth is expected to be lower than earlier forecast, the administration said “oil prices continue to face upward price pressure because of supply uncertainty resulting from ongoing unrest in oil-producing regions of the Middle East and
That could change, the administration said, if
At the same time, the report said, additional downside risks could lower crude prices “as fears persist about weakening global economic growth, contagion effects of the debt crisis in the EU and other fiscal issues facing national governments”.
In natural gas, the department’s analysts said they see the US benchmark Henry Hub spot price averaging $4.09/MM Btu for full-year 2011, down from last month’s forecast for $4.15MM Btu.
EIA also lowered its gas price outlook for 2012, saying the Henry Hub spot average for next year would likely be $4.13/MM Btu, considerably lower than its October STEO prediction of $4.32/MM Btu.
Those natgas price forecast reductions come despite what the administration said would be a 1.7% increase in gas consumption for this year and a 1.1% gain in demand for 2012.
Those advances in
But the increased pricing pressure that ordinarily would result from such demand growth would be more than offset by gains in domestic natural gas production, the department said.
EIA said it expected domestic
“All of this growth comes from higher onshore production in the lower 48 states,” the department said, “which more than offsets a year-over-year decline of 17% in the federal
($1 = €0.73)
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