The U.S. Energy Information Administration raised its forecast on crude production and prices for this year, according to the agency's latest Short-term Energy Outlook report released Tuesday. The EIA forecast U.S. crude production at an average 9 million barrels per day in 2017, up from an estimated 8.9 million in 2016. It sees 2018 output climbing to 9.5 million barrels a day. It forecast West Texas Intermediate crude at an average $53.46 a barrel this year, up from the previous forecast for $52.50 and Brent crude at $54.54 this year, up from $53.50. "Global oil supply and demand is now expected to be largely in balance during 2017 as the gradual increase in world oil inventories that has occurred over the last few years comes to an end," said Howard Gruenspecht, acting EIA administrator, in a statement. March West Texas Intermediate crude continued to trade lower, down $1.04, or 2%, at $51.97 a barrel. April Brent fell 87 cents, or 1.6%, to $54.85 a barrel.
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