Saturday, August 10, 2013

Forecasts: Oil and Gasoline Prices expected to decline

by Bill McBride on 8/10/2013 06:24:00 PM

From USA Today: Relief at the pump: Gas prices on the decline

The federal Energy Information Administration forecasts 2014 will average $3.37 a gallon vs. an estimated $3.52 a gallon in 2013. That would be the lowest national average since 2010, when gasoline averaged about $2.80.

"Once we get to mid-September, we'll see prices drop 10 to 20 cents a gallon,'' says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for price tracker Gasbuddy.com. "Typically, demand drops the last 100 days of the year and bottoms out in December."
Here is the current EIA forecast:
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects that the Brent crude oil spot price, which averaged $108 per barrel over the first half of 2013, will average $104 per barrel over the second half of 2013, and $100 per barrel in 2014.
...
EIA expects the WTI discount to widen to $6 per barrel by the end of 2013 as crude oil production in Alberta, Canada, recovers following the heavy June flooding and as midcontinent production continues to grow.
...
EIA expects the regular gasoline retail price to average $3.59 per gallon in the third quarter of 2013, and the annual average price to decline from an average of $3.63 per gallon in 2012 to $3.52 per gallon in 2013 and to $3.37 per gallon in 2014.

U.S. crude oil production increased to an average of 7.5 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in July 2013, the highest monthly level of production since 1991.
WTI oil prices have been moving sideways over the last month after increasing in early July, with WTI at $105.97 per barrel.  Brent is at $108.22. A year ago, WTI was in the low $90s, and Brent was around $113 per barrel - so the spread has narrowed considerably, although the EIA expects the spread to widen a little later this year.

Using the calculator from Professor Hamilton, and the current price of Brent crude oil, the national average should be around $3.54 per gallon. That is just below the current level according to Gasbuddy.com.

The following graph is from gasbuddy.com. Note: If you click on "show crude oil prices", the graph displays oil prices for WTI, not Brent.



Orange County Historical Gas Price Charts Provided by GasBuddy.com

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