Banks have cut their forecasts on oil prices for a third consecutive month, doubting that the recent fall in stockpiles will last. The brimming oil inventories that have pressured prices for three years had started to decline in recent weeks as U.S. demand rose and OPEC production was reduced. But some analysts say this decline in stockpiles could reverse later in the year as U.S. crude production continues to grow. A poll of 15 investment banks, surveyed by The Wall Street Journal at the end of July, predicted that Brent crude, the international benchmark, will average $53 a barrel this year, down $2 from the June survey. The banks expect West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil gauge, to average $51 a barrel this year, down a dollar from the previous survey.
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Written by By Marina Force and Georgi Kantchev at The Wall Street Journal