The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) annual Energy Outlook predicts a rebound in global crude oil prices in the years ahead.
The outlook says oil prices will start gradually rising after 2015 thanks to increasing global oil demand.
EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski laid out the short-term energy forecast on Thursday.
“In the short term, EIA is expecting generally rising crude oil prices in the next two years, but we recognize the very high uncertainty,” he said.
That uncertainty comes in part from the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran. If those talks go smoothly, sanctions on Iranian oil exports could be lifted. Sieminski said that could have “big impacts” on the amount of oil available in the global market.
Iran is estimated to be currently storing as much as 35 million barrels of oil. Sieminski said Thursday that if – or when – sanctions are lifted, how those exports would impact the global oil market would depend on how they’re rolled out.
Speaking to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sieminski said in the short-term and over the long-term combined, Iran has the potential to export a million barrels of oil a day.
“And it’s really hard to see right now, Senator, how that could be absorbed without causing either other production to go down, or the price to go down,” he said.
Murkowski said she’s worried about those possible Iranian oil exports hurting the U.S. market.
She called it an “incongruence” that the U.S. is considering lifting sanctions on Iranian oil exports, while it still has a decades-old domestic oil export ban in place.