By MARK SHENK
The US Energy Information Administration increased its 2014
and 2015 price forecasts for West Texas Intermediate and
Brent crudes because of the upsurge of violence in Iraq.
WTI will average $100.98/bbl this year versus the June
projection of $98.67/bbl, the EIA, the Energy
Departments statistical unit, said today in its monthly
Short-Term Energy Outlook. The US benchmark grade will
average $95.17 in 2015, up from the previous months
estimate of $90.92.
The EIA boosted the forecast for Brent to $109.55 for this
year from $107.82. Next years forecast was raised to
$104.92 from $101.92.
Price forecasts were raised primarily because the
problems in Iraq caused us to scale back our production
projections, Tancred Lidderdale, an economist with the
EIA in Washington who helped write the report, said in a
US crude output is project
ed to rise to 8.46 million
bpd this year and 9.28 million in 2015, up from 7.44 million
last year. Thats up from last months forecast of
8.42 million bpd this year and 9.27 million in 2015. US crude
production peaked at 9.6 million in 1970.
Total production of liquid fuels, including those associated
with natural gas output, will average 13.63 million bpd in
2014 and 14.6 million next year, the report showed.
Thats up from last months project
ions of 13.52 million this
year and 14.51 million.
Our projections for natural gas liquids have been
rising steadily this year because plants are getting better
at separating them and demand has grown, Lidderdale
Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking,
have unlocked supplies in shale formations in North Dakota,
Texas and other states.
The department lowered its forecast for global oil
consumption this year to 91.62 million bpd from 91.79 million
estimated last month. The forecast for 2015 production was
reduced to 93.08 million from 93.12 million.
US oil consumption will average 18.88 million bpd in 2014,
down from last months forecast of 18.93 million. Next
year demand is project
ed to climb to 18.95
million. The previous 2015 estimate was 18.98 million.
Regular gasoline will average $3.54 a gallon at the pump this
year, up from an estimate of $3.50 in June, the EIA said.