Brent to average $60, WTI seen at about $55 in 2018: survey Shale growth seen as wild card where analysts’ outlooks differ The direction of oil prices in 2018 will be decided in Texas. Crude oil production out of the U.S. is expected to hit record levels next year, buoyed in part by OPEC supply curbs that have put a floor under prices. For analysts forecasting prices next year, there are two key questions: exactly how far American production grows and whether the global economy is strong enough to swallow those extra barrels? Brent crude is expected to average $60 a barrel in 2018, while its U.S. counterpart is seen at about $55 a barrel, according to the median estimate of 27 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That’s below where oil prices sit now — currently near $64 a barrel for Brent and close to $58 for West Texas Intermediate. […]