Brent prices are forecast to average $68/bbl in 3Q2021 before production worldwide begins to escalate, sending the average price down to around $60/bbl in 2022, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Tuesday.

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In the Short-Term Energy Outlook, researchers noted that Brent averaged $68/bbl in May, a 25% uptick from January.

“In the coming months, we expect global oil production to catch up with the increases we’ve seen in demand in 2021,” said EIA acting administrator Stephen Nalley. “U.S. and global oil producers are increasing their production, which should help moderate oil prices that have increased significantly as global economic concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic have begun to ease.”

Global petroleum and liquid fuels consumption is forecast to grow by 6% in 2021. Output should average 97.7 million b/d this year and climb another 4% in 2022 to average 101.3 million b/d.

“In response to this increase in global demand, we forecast U.S. crude oil production will average 11.8 million b/d in 2022, up 4% from 2020.” 

Researchers expect production by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reach 28.7 million b/d in 2022, an increase of 12% over 2020. Last month OPEC projected oil demand would increase by nearly 6.0 million b/d from last year, or 7%, to average 96.5 million b/d in 2021. The International Energy Agency last month also estimated demand would rise by 5.4 million b/d this year.

EIA also is forecasting U.S. regular retail gasoline prices to average $2.92/gallon for the summer driving season, which runs from April through September. Monthly average gasoline prices this summer are expected to peak this month at $3.03.