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 Monthly 05/12/2015
Changes in production capacity & GDP, price of WTI crude Monthly 05/12/2015
Projected supply, annual average Monthly 05/12/2015
OPEC and Non-opec Supply disruption Monthly 05/12/2015
 
Supply: OPEC    
Changes in Saudi Production & WTI crude prices Monthly 05/12/2015
Spare production capacity & WTI crude prices Monthly 05/12/2015
Changes in production capacity & GDP, price of WTI crude Monthly 05/12/2015
OPEC and Non-opec Supply disruption Monthly 05/12/2015
 
Balance    
OECD inventories & WTI futures spread Quarterly 03/31/2015
 
Spot Prices    
World crude oil prices Monthly 04/30/2015
U.S. retail gasoline price, refiner acquisition cost of crude oil Monthly 05/12/2015
Crude price reaction to events Quarterly 03/31/2015
 
Financial Markets    
Average daily open interest in crude oil futures Quarterly 03/31/2015
Futures positions by producers, merchants, processors, & end users Monthly 04/30/2015
Futures positions by money managers Monthly 04/30/2015
Correlations between daily prices changes of crude & other commodities Quarterly 03/31/2015

Commodity index assets under management & Dow Jones UBS price index

Quarterly 03/31/2015
Composition of the Dow Jones UBS commodity index Annual 2015
Correlations between daily returns on crude oil & financial investments Quarterly 03/31/2015
 
Demand: Non-OECD    
Consumption & GDP Monthly 05/12/2015
World oil consumption, world GDP & WTI crude oil prices Monthly 05/12/2015
Projected non-OECD production, annual average Monthly 05/12/2015
 
Demand: OECD    
Crude oil consumption & WTI crude oil price Monthly 05/12/2015
World oil consumption, world GDP & WTI crude oil prices Monthly 05/12/2015

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Contact

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