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(Motley Fool) The U.S. Energy Information Administration routinely puts out a Short-Term Energy Outlook, and one component of that outlook is an oil price forecast. Last year at about this time, its STEO forecast that crude would average around $77.75 per barrel in 2015 . That said, knowing the historical volatility in oil prices, the EIA did have a range of potential prices, which are detailed in the following chart:

Oil Price Forecast While the EIA expected crude to stay right around its then-current price of about $75 per barrel for 2015, it did see the possibility for crude to range as high as $125 to as low as $50. In fact, there was 95% confidence that $50 was as low as crude would go in 2015. Unfortunately, the forecast was way off: WTI Crude Oil Spot Price data by YCharts. Crude never even came close to $75 all year, and it recently touched a low of $35 per barrel. Here’s what went wrong with the forecast.

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