Crude oil prices tumbled for the fourth consecutive session on Tuesday amid rising concerns over the global economic environment and unexpected build in US oil inventories. Prices started fumbling last week, when several US producers raised their production guidance. Baker Hughes weekly report on Friday, which showed a growth for the second consecutive week, further eroded investor’s sentiments. Strengthening of the US dollar against the basket of other currencies, also led crude oil prices fall from the physiological mark of $50 a barrel. In the latest trading session, crude oil prices declined to the lowest level of the last three weeks, after the American Petroleum Institute’s report, which showed a build of 1.52 million barrels in US crude stockpiles for the last week. Official report from the Energy Information Agency is due today, which could be a key driver in setting the future of crude oil prices. At the end of Tuesday session, US crude settled around $48.49 a barrel, lowest level in the last three weeks. Brent crude prices also slipped below $50 a barrel for the first time since June 3.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday raised its 2018 and 2019 price forecasts on West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil prices and U.S. production expectations for this year and next. In its monthly energy outlook report, the government agency forecast an average WTI price of $68.46 a barrel for this year, up 2.1% from the forecast issued in September. For 2019, it forecast $69.56, up 3.3%. The EIA also raised its average Brent forecast by 2.2% to $74.43 this year, and by 1.9% to $75.06 next year. The EIA increased the domestic crude output forecast by 0.8% to 10.74 million barrels a day this year, and lifted the 2019 view by 2.2% to 11.76 million barrels a day. November WTI crude CLX8, -1.44% was down $1.88, or 2.5%, at $73.08 a barrel. December Brent LCOZ8, -1.59% lost $1.68, or 2%, to $83.32.