The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that the Brent crude oil price will average $90 per barrel in February and nearly $88 per barrel for the first half of this year. In its February Short-Term Energy Outlook, EIA estimates that commercial oil inventories fell to their lowest levels since mid-2014, contributing to current high prices. There are several factors at play. EIA Acting Administrator Steve Nalley says, “Market concerns about oil production disruptions, supply chain vulnerabilities, and uncertainties around how central banks may react to combat inflation all contribute to a highly unpredictable environment for oil and petroleum product prices.” The average price for regular-grade gasoline was $3.31 per gallon in January, nearly a dollar higher than one year ago, largely because of higher oil prices. EIA expects gasoline prices will average $3.24 per gallon in 2022, before dropping below $3.00 per gallon in the last quarter of the year.
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