Rising crude oil production in the United States contributed to relatively stable global crude oil prices in 2013, at around the same annual average levels of the previous two years. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) spot prices averaged $98 per barrel (bbl) in 2013, up 4% from 2012 and the highest annual average since 2008. New pipeline and railroad infrastructure alleviated transportation constraints that had put downward pressure on WTI prices. The North Sea Brent spot price averaged $109/bbl, down 3% from 2012. Brent prices came under downward pressure as rising U.S. light sweet crude oil production reduced the need for U.S. imports, thereby increasing supplies of Brent-quality crude oil available to the global market.