Oil prices expected to stay low through 2016

The news remains bleak for a state hooked on oil production and price, with the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasting an average price of $58 per barrel in 2015.

It’s a figure that, if it proves to be accurate, will leave Alaska billions of dollars in the red.

In its short-term outlook issued Tuesday, the administration also said it expected oil to average $75 a barrel in 2016.

The look ahead comes on the heels of the recent decision by investment banking firm Goldman Sachs to reduce its 2015 oil price forecast to $40 a barrel.

After years of high oil prices padding Alaska’s treasury with billions of surplus dollars, Alaska suddenly expects to be $7 billion in the red this year and next. But that shortfall could be even worse if the price keeps falling.

Most of the state’s unrestricted funds come from oil revenue. State officials expect oil prices over the next 18 months or so to also average in the mid-$60 and mid-$70 range.

Oil prices have fallen for six straight months, dropping below $50 this week, about half of what they were a year ago.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Will Russia’s actions in Ukraine affect relations in the Arctic Council?, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Rouble collapse hits Finland, Forex stops buying Russian currency, Yle News

Greenland: Arctic oil and gas must stay in ground to restrict warming to 2°C says study, Blog by Mia Bennett, Cryopolitics

Iceland:  From Arctic Circle 2013-2014, a big drop in the price of oil, Blog by Mia Bennett

Norway:  Currency drama has little impact on tourism in Barents region, Barents Observer

Russia: Russia’s former prime minister suggests pause in Arctic oil & gas projects, Barents Observer

Sweden:  Falling oil prices benefit Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States:  World oil price decline siphons billions of dollars expected by Alaska, Alaska Dispatch News


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