Energy & Financial Markets

What Drives Crude Oil Prices?

An analysis of 7 factors that influence oil markets, with chart data updated monthly and quarterly

Overview

As part of its Energy and Financial Markets Initiative, EIA is assessing the various factors that may influence oil prices — physical market factors as well as those related to trading and financial markets. This website describes 7 key factors that could influence oil markets. The analysis explores possible linkages between each factor and oil prices, and includes regularly-updated graphs that depict aspects of those relationships.

EIA's traditional coverage of physical fundamentals such as energy consumption, production, inventories, spare production capacity, and geopolitical risks continues to be essential. EIA is also assessing other influences, such as futures market trading activity, commodity investment, exchange rates, and equity markets, as it seeks to fully assess energy price movements.

This analysis was published on June 16, 2011 and covers the period from 2000 forward. Several charts include projections from EIA's Short Term Energy Outlook. Charts are updated with new data on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis according to the schedule below. The analysis will be updated as needed. Feedback is welcome and can be submitted via the feedback form at the bottom of every page on this site.

Chart Update Schedule
Update Frequency
Last Update
Supply: Non-OPEC    
Production & WTI crude prices Quarterly 6/10/2014
Changes in production capacity & GDP, price of WTI crude Quarterly 6/10/2014
Projected supply, annual average Monthly 6/10/2014
OPEC and Non-opec Supply disruption Monthly 6/10/2014
 
Supply: OPEC    
Changes in Saudi Production & WTI crude prices Quarterly 03/31/2014
Spare production capacity & WTI crude prices Quarterly 03/31/2014
Changes in production capacity & GDP, price of WTI crude Quarterly 6/10/2014
OPEC and Non-opec Supply disruption Monthly 6/10/2014
 
Balance    
OECD inventories & WTI futures spread Quarterly 03/31/2014
 
Spot Prices    
World crude oil prices Monthly 05/31/2014
U.S. retail gasoline price, refiner acquisition cost of crude oil Monthly 6/10/2014
Crude price reaction to events Quarterly 06/30/2014
 
Financial Markets    
Average daily open interest in crude oil futures Quarterly 03/31/2014
Futures positions by producers, merchants, processors, & end users Monthly 05/31/2014
Futures positions by money managers Monthly 05/31/2014
Correlations between daily prices changes of crude & other commodities Quarterly 03/31/2014

Commodity index assets under management & Dow Jones UBS price index

Quarterly 03/31/2014
Composition of the Dow Jones UBS commodity index Annual 2014
Correlations between daily returns on crude oil & financial investments Quarterly 03/31/2014
 
Demand: Non-OECD    
Consumption & GDP Quarterly 6/10/2014
World oil consumption, world GDP & WTI crude oil prices Quarterly 6/10/2014
Projected non-OECD production, annual average Monthly 6/10/2014
 
Demand: OECD    
Crude oil consumption & WTI crude oil price Quarterly 6/10/2014
World oil consumption, world GDP & WTI crude oil prices Quarterly 6/10/2014

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Contact

Bruce Bawks
Office of Energy Markets
and Financial Analysis
Bruce.bawks@eia.gov