Crude Oil & Natural Gas Pricing
Crude Oil & Natural Gas Pricing: February’s average West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price per barrel decreased 2% month on month (m/m). The WTI is down 16% year on year (y/y), coming in at $76.83 / barrel in February 2023 vs. $91.64 / barrel in February 2022.
By comparison, Brent crude remained flat m/m to $82.61 / barrel in February 2023, and experienced shrinking of -15% y/y ($ 97.13 / barrel in February 2022). The WTI and Brent crude oil benchmarks are undergoing similar patterns this month. Additionally in February, the Brent-WTI spread increased to $5.78.
In addition, we saw the Henry Hub Natural Gas spot price decrease 27% m/m to $2.38 / million Btu. This represents a 49% decrease y/y.
Figure 1 charts the monthly average spot prices of WTI and Brent crude oil, plus the Henry Hub natural gas spot price from 2000 to present. “Crude oil prices have generally been declining since March 2022, when Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine sent the price of Brent crude oil above $130/b. Crude oil prices have fallen since then mainly because of slowing growth in both global economic activity and oil consumption.” (eia.gov).
At Gerdau, we routinely monitor the price of oil issued by the Energy Information Administration since it has a direct impact on the cost of shipping and freight. These costs, in addition to the data we follow on oil and gas rotary rig counts, have been shown to impact long product sales.