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Barclays Cuts 2012 Oil Price Forecasts for WTI, Brent

Barclays Plc cut its 2012 forecast for West Texas Intermediate oil by 8.6 percent and reduced the Brent estimate by 5.8 percent because of price declines in the second quarter.

WTI will average $96 a barrel this year and Brent will average $113, according to a report published today by analysts Paul Horsnell and Amrita Sen in London. That’s down from $105 for WTI and $120 for Brent that the bank had projected in a report on June 25.

Crude for August delivery fell 44 cents, or 0.5 percent, to settle at $87.22 a barrel today on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices slumped 18 percent last quarter, the biggest decline since the final three months of 2008. Futures have averaged $97.87 so far this year.

Brent oil for August settlement advanced 93 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $100.70 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Brent fell 20 percent in the second quarter. It has averaged $113.18 in 2012.

New York futures averaged $93.35 a barrel in the second quarter, below Barclays’ previous forecast of $104. Brent averaged $108.76, less than the bank’s estimate of $120.

WTI will average $115 in 2013 and Brent will be $125, unchanged from their earlier forecasts, the analysts said.

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