The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report that for the first time ever, U.S. crude oil production is expected to average more than 12 million barrels per day late next year, Reuters reported.
U.S. oil production has soared recently, driven by technology advances in shale formations tapping. American oil output rose 5.6% last year and is expected to grow 15.4% this year. If the forecasts are realized, that will make the U.S. the world’s largest crude producer, surpassing Russia, EIA said.
U.S. crude production this year is expected to be 10.79 million bbl/d, unchanged from last month’s forecast, according to the agency, which is the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy. The EIA expects production to average 10.91 million bbl/d this quarter and 11.29 million in the fourth quarter.
“Production growth in the United States, Brazil, Canada, and Russia will make up the majority of total global supply growth in 2019,” EIA Administrator Linda Capuano said in a statement after the report was released.
The agency increased its 2019 average forecast by 40,000 bbl/d to 11.8 million bbl/d and increased its forecast for the fourth quarter of that year by 50,000 bbl/d to 12.02 million.
Total U.S. oil demand is expected to be 20.35 million bbl/d this year, 60,000 bbl/d less than previously forecast. At the same time, the agency increased its 2019 demand outlook by 10,000 bbl/d to 20.68 million bbl/d.
If EIA’s forecast is realized, 2019 gasoline consumption would be the highest annual average on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2017, Capuano said.