The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Tuesday raised its price and production forecasts for West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil for this year and offered its first projections for 2018. In its monthly energy outlook report, the government agency forecast WTI prices at $52.50 a barrel for this year, up from $50.66 in the December forecast. For 2018, it forecast $55.18. Brent crude is seen at $53.50 this year and $56.18 next year. The EIA also raised its estimate on U.S. crude production to 9 million barrels a day for this year, compared with the previous forecast for 8.78 million. For 2018, it forecast output of 9.3 million barrels a day. February WTI crude traded at $51.47 a barrel, down 49 cents, or 0.9%. March Brent crude shed 63 cents, or 1.2%, to $54.31 a barrel.
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