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This Week in Petroleum: EIA forecasts moderate inventory builds in 2020 and lowers crude oil price forecast


  • In the August 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts relatively flat crude oil prices for the remainder of 2019 and through 2020 and a balanced global oil market in 2019 followed by modest inventory builds in 2020 as production growth outpaces consumption growth (Figure 1).
  • In the August STEO, EIA forecasts 2020 inventory builds of 280,000 barrels per day (b/d), but that outcome is highly dependent on crude oil production.
  • The compliance with production targets from the OPEC+ agreement will not only be a key determinant of whether global crude oil inventories remain near the five-year (2014–18) average during the forecast period but also a significant driver of crude oil prices.



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