- The Washington Times - Monday, August 10, 2015

Moody’s Investors Service has trimmed its expectations for crude oil prices in 2015 and 2016, lowering its 2015 expectations by $5 a barrel each for Brent crude, to $55 per barrel and for West Texas Intermediate to $50 per barrel, Oil & Gas Journal reported.

Those averages are based on second-half 2015 averages of $52 per barrel for Brent and $47 per barrel for WTI, and new 2016 assumptions are $57 per barrel for Brent and $52 per barrel for WTI, OGJ reported.

“Our forecast for world economic growth implies some increase in global oil demand, although not enough to keep pace with still rapidly rising production,” Moody’s said. The rating agency cited “a large build-up in inventories and the possibility that increased Iranian oil exports could reach global markets in the foreseeable future.”

The firm kept projected prices in 2017 at $65 per barrel for Brent and $60 per barrel for WTI.

The U.S. Senate’s recently passed highway bill relies in part on $9 billion coming from selling more than 100 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, with some questioning whether current oil prices would generate that kind of return.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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