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EIA lowers WTI crude-price forecasts

The U.S. Energy Information Administrationlowered its forecasts for West Texas Intermediate crude prices in a monthly report issued Tuesday. The government agency said it expects WTI prices to average $52.15 a barrel this year. It previously forecast a 2015 average of $55.02. The EIA also said it expects WTI crude to average $70 a barrel in 2016, compared with a previous forecast for $71. U.S. crude-oil production is expected to average 9.3 million barrels per day this year and climb to 9.5 million barrels per day in 2016 - close to the 9.6 million barrels per day highest annual average level of U.S. production in 1970, the government report said.