Oil prices slid for a fourth straight session on Tuesday and teetered close to 12-1/2-year lows hit last month, after weak demand forecasts from the US government and the western world’s energy watchdog, while weak equities also pressured prices. “The longs got out, the shorts jumped back in and there was possibly a whole lot of hedging by producers today to sell oil at whatever low price they could,” said Scott Shelton, broker and commodities specialist with ICAP in Durham, North Carolina. “It’s very difficult for anyone to be positive on this market with the kind of data that’s been coming out.” Brent crude oil settled down $2.56, or 7.8 per cent, at $30.32 a barrel. It was the largest drop in a day for Brent since Sept. 1. US crude fell $1.75, or 5.9 per cent, to finish at $27.94. Prices were under pressure throughout the session, but hit intraday lows after the US government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) lowered its oil demand growth forecast for the next two years.