Crude oil prices ended 2016 above $50 per barrel, however were still below the 2015 price average.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the annual average for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price in 2016 was $43 per barrel, down $5 per barrel from 2015. However, it ended 2016 at $53 per barrel – $16 per barrel higher than at the end of 2015.
Brent also ended the year up $17 from the end of 2015, at $54 per barrel, but the 2016 annual average of $44 per barrel was $8 below the 2015 average.
The EIA says that relatively high production and inventory levels provided downward pressure on crude oil prices throughout the bulk of 2016. However, the recent OPEC agreement to cut output and additional pledges by some key non-OPEC producers put upward pressure on prices at the end of 2016 as markets appear to be anticipating tighter balances than previously forecast.
Total OPEC crude oil and other liquids production increased by 3% to 39.3 million barrels per day in 2016, the EIA estimates.