The United States is on track to become the world’s top oil producer as early as this fall, unseating the current no.1 Russia, according to Scott Sheffield, the chairman of one of the largest U.S. producers, Pioneer Natural Resources.
U.S. oil production will exceed 11 million bpd within the next three to four months, Sheffield told CNNMoney on Wednesday in Vienna, where OPEC is hosting an international conference attended by some U.S. shale producers, a couple of days before OPEC and its Russia-led allies meet to discuss how much oil production to bring back to the market to offset supply disruptions.
U.S. oil production could “very quickly” reach 13 million bpd, and hit 15 million bpd within seven or eight years, Sheffield said.
The manager told CNNMoney that he sees the sweet spot for oil prices at between $60 and $80 a barrel. Oil prices above $80 per barrel would really hurt consumers, especially U.S. drivers, Pioneer’s executive said.
U.S. oil production has already been topping that of OPEC’s largest producer and de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, for several months now. Last month, U.S. oil production averaged 10.7 million bpd, EIA estimates show, while Saudi Arabia’s oil production was just shy of 10 million bpd in May—at 9.987 million bpd, according to OPEC’s secondary sources in its Monthly Oil Market Report.
Oil production in Russia—currently the world’s no.1—is around 11 million bpd and could tick higher if OPEC and its Russia-led friends approve a boost in production.
In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) released last week, EIA projects that U.S. crude oil production will average 10.8 million bpd this year, up from 9.4 million bpd in 2017, and will average 11.8 million bpd in 2019.
Weekly U.S. production has been setting records every week over the past three-four months, with the latest available data to the week of June 8 showing a weekly production of 10.9 million bpd.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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