The price of Brent crude oil was $ 64 (b) per barrel in 2019, $ 7 / b lower than the 2018 average. The price of US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was an average of $ 57 / b in 2019, $ 7 / b lower than 2018.
Both crude oil prices were traded at relatively narrow price ranges throughout the year. Brent prices reached $ 55 / b $ on an annual basis in early January and rose to the highest $ 75 / b daily in late April. The resulting $ 20 / b range was the narrowest since 2003. WTI prices ranged from $ 47 / b to $ 66 / b.
The increase in crude oil prices after the US military operation in Iraq on January 3 this year reflects an increase in geopolitical risk.
Although the 2019 daily price range has remained relatively tight, Brent and WTI futures futures prices have experienced the biggest daily price increases since 2008. On Monday, September 16, 2019, Brent and WTI crude oil prices rose by $ 9 / b and $ 8 / b, respectively, on the first day after a critical attack on power plants in Saudi Arabia. Price increases were relatively short, and prices returned to their previous levels within weeks of the attack on Saudi Arabia.
While the production cuts of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the US pressures on Iran and Venezuela are expected to increase global demand, and hence the prices, the U.S. oil production increased during 2019, pushing down the crude oil prices.
Outside the US, crude oil production in major producers such as Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Iran dropped in 2019. OPEC + (10 other countries such as OPEC plus Russia, Mexico and Kazakhstan) announced on December 7, 2019, to continue limiting excess crude oil supply, they announced that they deepened the production cuts announced in December 2018.