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Dec. 7, 2021, 12:26 p.m. EST

EIA lowers 2021 and 2022 WTI, Brent oil-price forecasts

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By Myra P. Saefong

The U.S. Energy Information Administration lowered its 2021 and 2022 forecasts for U.S. and global benchmark oil prices, according to a monthly report released Tuesday . The EIA forecast this year's West Texas Intermediate crude prices at an average $67.87 a barrel, down 1.7% from the November forecast. Brent crude is expected to average $70.60 this year, down 1.4% from the previous forecast. The EIA also cut its oil forecasts for 2022 by 2.7% to $66.42 for WTI and by 2.6% to $70.05 for Brent. U.S. oil production is expected to average 11.18 million barrels per day this year, up 0.5% from November's forecast, the EIA said. The omicron variant of the coronavirus has "introduced additional uncertainty into oil markets for the coming months," with that uncertainty reflected in the recent increase in price volatility, the EIA said. In Tuesday dealings, oil prices continued higher. January WTI crude was up $3.23, or 4.7%, to $72.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. February Brent crude rose $3.01, or 4.1%, to $76.09 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

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