Wednesday, February 11, 2015

EIA: Record Oil Inventories, Gasoline Prices expected to average $2.33/gal in 2015

by Bill McBride on 2/11/2015 01:30:00 PM

Oil prices are down today, with Brent at $55.05 per barrel, and WTI at $49.47. Note: There is less investment now, but current wells are still pumping.

Here is an excerpt from the Weekly Petroleum Status Report

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged about 15.6 million barrels per day during the week ending February 6, 2015, 20,000 barrels per day more than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 90.0% of their operable capacity last week. ...

U.S. crude oil imports averaged 7.3 million barrels per day last week, down by 101,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports averaged over 7.3 million barrels per day, 3.6% below the same four-week period last year. ...
Oil Inventory
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 4.9 million barrels from the previous week. At 417.9 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are at the highest level for this time of year in at least the last 80 years.
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It is difficult to forecast oil and gasoline prices due to world events - and the response of producers to price changes, but currently the EIA expects gasoline prices to average $2.94/gal in 2015 according to the Short Term Energy Outlook released yesterday:
• EIA forecasts that Brent crude oil prices will average $58/bbl in 2015 and $75/bbl in 2016, with 2015 and 2016 annual average West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices expected to be $3/bbl and $4/bbl, respectively, below Brent. This price outlook is unchanged from last month's forecast. ...

• Driven largely by falling crude oil prices, U.S. weekly regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.04/gallon (gal) on January 26, the lowest since April 6, 2009, before increasing to $2.19/gal on February 9. EIA expects U.S. regular gasoline retail prices, which averaged $3.36/gal in 2014, to average $2.33/gal in 2015. The average household is now expected to spend about $750 less for gasoline in 2015 compared with last year because of lower prices. The projected regular gasoline retail price increases to an average of $2.73/gal in 2016.
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Right now gasoline prices are down to around $2.22 per gallon nationally according to the 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