Debating the accuracy of the EIA’s predictions

U.S. Energy Information Administration

Todd Bennington | Kingdom Exploration Media

OPEC production cuts and per-barrel prices that recently went as high $65 are being counterbalanced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s prediction that U.S. crude production for the upcoming year will be record-setting. [1]

The agency is not without its detractors, however, who say it is overestimating things like the ability of technological developments to continue at a pace that enables increased production [2] while underestimating a turn by shale companies to the more disciplined approach of taking advantage of higher prices to pay down debt rather than expanding drilling operations. [3]

In a recent article at Seeking Alpha, Richard Zeits defends the EIA, saying that its critics need to better demonstrate where the agency’s calculations are allegedly breaking down and present their own detailed quantitative analysis as a basis for comparison. He goes on to say that criticism of the agency would ideally be part of a constructive discourse that helps it improve is forecasting process.

Zeits also notes that it’s the “least protected” category of investors who are most likely to be harmed by listening to possibly unsubstantiated claims made on blogs and in major media.