Average oil and natural gas prices were lower in 2019 than they were in 2018, EIA says
Energize Weekly, January 15, 2020
Average oil and natural gas prices in 2019 were lower than they were in 2018 by more than 8 percent, with natural gas posting its lowest average price since 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The lower oil prices led to lower gasoline prices as the average U.S. retail prices in 2019 was $2.60 a gallon, 11 cents or 4 percent, lower than in 2018.
Brent crude oil prices, the international benchmark, averaged $64 a barrel in 2019, $7 a barrel lower than in 2018. The average price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, the U.S. benchmark, was $7 lower in 2019 than 2018 at $57 a barrel.
There was less price volatility compared with recent years with Brent crude posting a low of $55 a barrel in early January and a high of $75 a barrel in April. That $20 range was the narrowest since 2003. The price range for WTI crude was $47 a barrel to $66 a barrel.
The market did experience its biggest single-day jump since 2008 on Sept. 16, 2019, the first trading day after attacks on Saudi Arabian production facilities. Brent crude was up $9 a barrel and WTI $8 a barrel. By the end of the month, prices returned to previous levels as Saudi Arabia got production back online.
U.S. production, which reached a record 12.3 million barrels a day, put downward pressure on crude oil prices and moderated the impact of production cut announcements from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the EIA said.
Natural gas spot prices at the Henry Hub in Louisiana, which serve as a national benchmark, averaged $2.57 per million British thermal units (BTU) in 2019, about 60 cents lower than the 2018 average. It was the lowest average price since 2016.
“Continued growth in domestic production of natural gas also supported lower natural gas prices throughout the year,” the EIA said,
Even during a cold snap in the Midwest in February, natural gas prices at the Chicago Citygate were lower than during previous extreme weather events.