Energy Department Raises 2013 Oil Price Forecast

The U.S. Energy Department increased its crude-oil price and global demand projections for 2013.

West Texas Intermediate oil will average $92.81 a barrel this year, up 3.7 percent from the January projection of $89.54, the Energy Information Administration, the department’s statistics arm, said today in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook. The U.S. benchmark grade will average $92.17 in 2014, up from the previous month’s estimate of $91.

Brent, the benchmark grade for more than half the world’s crude, will average $109.33 a barrel in 2013, up 4 percent from last month’s forecast of $105.17. Brent will slip to $100.75 next year, according to the report.

The spread between Brent and WTI, which will average $16.52 a barrel this year, will narrow to $8.58 in 2014.

The average cost of domestic and imported grades used by U.S. refiners will be $97.50 a barrel in 2013, up 3.4 percent from the January projection of $94.27.

The department increased its forecast for global oil consumption this year to 90.21 million barrels a day from 90.11 million estimated last month. Demand will be 1.2 percent higher than last year’s average of 89.16 million. Global consumption will climb to 91.62 million in 2014.

To contact the reporter on this story: Moming Zhou in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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