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Daniel Yergin: U.S. Oil Production May Increase By 900,000 Bpd Next Year

  • Speaking to CNBC this week, Yergin said that “The U.S. is back.
  • Yergin: Crude oil production in the United States could increase by close to 1 million bpd next year

Crude oil production in the United States could increase by close to 1 million bpd next year, according to IHS Markit’s Daniel Yergin.

Speaking to CNBC this week, Yergin said that “The U.S. is back. For the last year, year and a half, it’s been OPEC+ running the show, but U.S. production is coming back already, and it’s going to come back more in 2022.”

U.S. producers slashed their output dramatically during the pandemic, from a record-high 13 million bpd in early 2020, to 11 million bpd in December 2020. Currently, production is around 11.8 million bpd, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Yergin also told CNBC that he had participated in two calls by the U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm with the oil industry, asking companies to boost production.

For now, the industry has not welcomed these calls warmly. In fact, some industry insiders have openly expressed their frustration with the Biden administration’s approach to boosting oil production.

“Their first response was to call Opec and ask them to pump more oil. They have not called me,” Scott Sheffield, the chief executive of Pioneer Natural Resources, told the Financial Times on the sidelines of the World Petroleum Congress in Houston earlier this month. “And we’re the largest Permian producer.”

“I think first you, you stay home, you ask your friends, and you ask your neighbors to do it. And then if we can’t do it, you call some other countries,” Occidental’s CEO Vicki Hollub told CNBC last month. 

Now that the administration has indeed called on the industry to ramp up production, it may be too late as the top priority of U.S. oil producers remains boosting shareholder returns after years of burning cash. Yet if prices stabilize around current levels, and according to Yergin they will, there could be greater motivation to expand production.

According to the expert, oil prices next year will average between $65 and $85 per barrel, “unless some big geopolitical turmoil happens.”

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on December 30 2021 said:
    US shale oil producers didn’t slash their output dramatically during the pandemic in 2020. It was slashed for them by the raging coronavirus then. Moreover, many experts around the world have always questioned the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) production figures depicting them as a mixture of hype and exaggeration.

    Since its inception the US shale oil industry has been an unprofitable industry being pushed to reckless production particularly during the Trump administration so that the United States can make false and empty slogans about US energy independence and being the world’s largest crude oil producer.

    Shale oil production will never make a comeback to the reckless production level in 2019. Despite rising crude oil prices, shale drillers are under strict obligation to return more cash to shareholders in the form of dividends and share buybacks. Moreover, they can only raise their production by 200,000-300,000 b/d in 2022.

    Within 7-10 years, US oil production of which shale oil accounts for 60%-70% will decline to 5-6 million barrels a day (mbd) thus translating into a steep rise in US crude oil imports. The reasons are the high depletion rates ranging from 70%-90% during the first 3 years of production, a decline in productivity and the fact that the sweet spots in the shale plays have already been used and that shale drillers are now being forced to move to poor and less productive plays.

    Since the pandemic and the emergence of OPEC+ as the most influential player in the global oil market, the fate of US shale oil production has been in the hands of OPEC+ and could remain so well into the future.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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