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.
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