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Brent to average $71.06/b in 2018, $67.74/b in 2019: US EIA

Washington — The US Energy Information Administration raised its WTI and Brent priceforecasts for 2019 and said growing domestic production will reduce netimports to a level not seen in 60 years.

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In its Short-Term Energy Outlook Tuesday, EIA said US oil productionaveraged 10.7 million b/d in May, up 80,000 b/d from April.

It now forecasts US oil production to average 10.79 million b/d in 2018and 11.76 million b/d in 2019, 70,000 b/d more and 100,000 b/d less,respectively, than what it had forecast last month.

EIA Tuesday forecast US oil production to exceed 12 million b/d byDecember 2019. Last month, it forecast US supply to cross that thresholda month earlier.

It also forecasts that US crude oil and petroleum product net importswill fall from an annual average of 3.7 million b/d in 2017 to an averageof 2.5 million b/d in 2018 and to 1.6 million b/d in 2019, which would bethe lowest level of net oil imports since 1959.

"Net crude oil and petroleum product imports into the United States arecontinuing historic declines in 2018, and EIA's outlook is that thosedeclines will continue in 2019," EIA Administrator Linda Capuano said ina statement.

EIA forecasts WTI spot prices to average $64.53/b in 2018 and $61.95/b in2019, down $1.05/b and up $1.09/b, respectively, from last month'sforecast. It forecasts Brent to average $71.06/b in 2018 and $67.74/b in2019, up 38 cents and $1.76, respectively, from last month's forecast.

--Brian Scheid,

--Edited by Valarie Jackson,