Alaska North Slope crude popped up over $75 a barrel last week, a price not seen since October, 2014, when prices were coming down from more than $100 a barrel that year. The most recent reported price is $75.88.
$75.88 is more than a 42 percent increase over what the State’s Department of Revenue had predicted in its spring forecast, which said the average price would be about $53.05 per barrel for the fiscal year ending on June 30. It’s also more bullish than what was predicted by Goldman Sachs in February, when it said Brent crude would rise to $75 a barrel in the third quarter. That prediction was well above what other analysts were saying over the winter.
Brent crude also closed above $75 and West Texas Intermediate closed at $73.08 on Friday.
Inventories of oil are down in the Lower 48, at the same time demand is surging. U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by 7.6 million barrels from the previous week, the Energy Information Administration reported for the week of June 18.
Futures traders are banking on prices surging soon, with dropping inventories and Americans traveling again.
Rare is the summer day when the State of Alaska reports as much as 500,000 barrels of Alaska North Slope crude flowing through the Trans Alaska Pipeline. Oil flow has averaged 477,426 barrels per day this month, while last June it averaged 393,387 barrels per day, and in June of 2019, it averaged 480,225 barrels per day.