Producers aren’t shying away from spending money in U.S. fields, despite prices dropping more than 30% from the October highs. ConocoPhillips said Dec. 10 it is spending half its 2019 budget in the continental United States, while Chevron Corp. is investing $3.6 billion in the Permian Basin alone.
Global liquid fuels
Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $65 per barrel (b) in November, down $16/b from October, the largest monthly average price decline since December 2014.
EIA expects Brent spot prices will average $61 in 2019 and that West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices will average about $7/b lower than Brent prices next year. NYMEX WTI futures and options contract values for March 2019 delivery that traded during the five-day period ending December 6, 2018, suggest a range of $36/b to $77/b encompasses the market expectation for March WTI prices at the 95% confidence level.
EIA estimates that U.S. crude oil production averaged 11.5 million barrels per day (b/d) in November, up 150,000 b/d from October levels because of platforms resuming normal operations after hurricane-related outages in October. EIA expects that U.S. crude oil production will average 10.9 million b/d in 2018, up from 9.4 million b/d in 2017, and will average 12.1 million b/d in 2019.
EIA forecasts total global liquid fuels inventories will increase by about 0.3 million b/d in 2018 and by 0.2 million b/d in 2019. Global liquid fuels production is forecast to increase by 1.4 million b/d in 2019. EIA expects production growth in the United States to be partially offset by declining production elsewhere, notably in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), where EIA forecasts that liquid fuels production will decline by 0.9 million b/d in 2019.