The Energy Information Administration in Washington dispensed with West Texas Intermediate for its price forecasts in its Annual Energy Outlook 2013 released yesterday, adopting North Sea Brent crude instead. It’s the first time the department has used Brent, reflecting “a growing discrepancy” between WTI and global crude prices, it said.

“This makes perfect sense as Brent is a better reflection of global oil demand and supply than WTI,” Gordon Kwan, the head of regional energy research for Mirae Assets Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong, said in a phone interview. “WTI has become a misleading price indicator for global economic growth and will become increasingly less relevant versus Brent oil.”