25 July 2013 16:26 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Spot prices for Brent crude oil are likely to average $105/bbl in 2013, the US Energy Information Administration said on Thursday.
Middle East unrest was a key factor behind high oil prices, the EIA said, leading to oil prices ranging from $90-130/bbl well into 2013.
The figure is lower than the $112/bbl average recorded in 2012, and prices are likely to fall further in 2014, the EIA said, claiming that next year’s spot price will average $100/bbl.
Oil prices are expected to increase in the longer term though, rising to $106/bbl in 2020 (in 2011 currency terms) and reaching $163/bbl by 2040, according to EIA projections.
“High sustained oil prices can affect consumer demand for liquid fuels, encouraging the use of less energy or alternative forms of energy, but also encouraging more efficient use of energy,” the administration noted.
Energy use is predicted to rise by 56% by 2040, driven primarily by demand growth from the developing world. Asia’s fast-growing economies, India and China, are expected to represent half of the increase in energy demand growth over that time, the EIA said.
“This [demand growth] will have a profound effect on the development of world energy markets. Clean-fuel technology is also playing an important role in the outlook, with renewable energy and nuclear power expected to grow faster than fossil fuels over the forecast period,” said EIA administrator Adam Sieminski.
Shale is also likely to play a part in diversifying the global energy mix, and spreading oil production further beyond the OPEC bloc, the EIA added.
An administration study published in June this year estimates technically-recoverable shale gas resources in the US and 41 other countries at around 345bn barrels, which “would add considerable non-OPEC liquid fuels production potential if the resources became economically competitive.”
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