Crude oil prices forecast to decline beginning in the second half of 2023
In our January 2023 Short-Term Energy Outlook, we forecast the Brent crude oil price (the global benchmark) will rise from an average $81 per barrel (b) in December 2022 to average $83/b in the first quarter of 2023 (1Q23). We expect this forecast increase to follow the upcoming EU ban on seaborne imports of petroleum products from Russia, effective February 5. This ban will likely be more disruptive to the global petroleum markets than the EU’s December 2022 ban on seaborne crude oil imports from Russia (STEO Between the Lines includes more in-depth discussion). We forecast the Brent price will stay relatively flat through 2Q23, averaging $85/b, and then decline through the end of 2024. We expect the Brent price will average $83/b in 2023 and $78/b in 2024, down from $101/b in 2022. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price (the U.S. benchmark price) is forecast to generally follow a similar path, averaging $77/b in 2023 and $72/b 2024.