EIA Projects US Average Crude Output in 2018 at Highest Level on Record

1:11 PM, Jan 9, 2018 — The Energy Information Administration is projecting US crude output in 2018 that would be the highest level on record, with the agency seeing production averaging 10.3 million barrels a day.

The level would be up from an average estimate of 9.3 million barrels a day in 2017, and would surpass the previous record high of 9.6 million barrels in 1970, the EIA said in a short-term energy outlook on its website Tuesday. In the first views on 2019, the projection outlook stands at 10.8 million barrels a day, and is seen surpassing 11 million barrels in November of that year.

The EIA said Brent crude prices averaged $54 a barrel last year and are seen at $60 this year and $61 in 2019. West Texas Intermediate, the main US variety, is seen $4 less than Brent in both this year and next.

Moves by global crude nations under the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut output have been somewhat dented by rising production from the US, which is estimated to have reached an average of 9.9 million barrels a day in December.

OPEC’s crude oil production averaged 32.5 million barrels a day last year, down 0.2 million barrels from a year earlier, as the cartel’s supply reduction agreements took effect, the EIA said. For 2018, the group’s output is seen rising 0.2 million barrels this year and another 0.3 million in 2019 “as crude oil production slowly returns to pre-agreement levels,” the agency said.

Dry natural gas production is seen averaging 80.4 billion cubic feet per day in 2018, a 6.9 billion increase from 2017. The EIA said that would be the highest year-over-year increase on record. For 2019, a rise of 2.6 billion cubic feet per day is forecast.

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