The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates the average cost of Brent crude oil for 2015 at $60 dollars per barrel. EIA projections predict production costs of $67 per barrel in 2016.
Crude oil production costs factor in the costs of oil extraction and the maintenance of oil wells and facilities. Production costs are usually higher in the United States than in the Middle East. This is partly due to the extraction expense of North American shale, which involves horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
The price of Brent crude oil serves as the standard price for worldwide purchase of oil and an indicator of profitable oil production.