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U.S. crude oil production hit a record 12 million bpd in the week ending February 15, rising by 100,000 bpd from 11.9 million bpd in the previous week, the weekly EIA petroleum data showed as American production is growing faster than forecasts suggested just a few months ago.
In November 2018, the EIA estimated that U.S. crude oil production would exceed the 12-million-bpd mark in the second quarter of 2019. Earlier forecasts had showed that the 12-million-bpd threshold would be surpassed only in the fourth quarter of this year.
U.S. crude oil exports also hit an all-time high in the week to February 15—at 3.607 million bpd, beating the previous record of 3.203 million bpd set in the last week of November 2018, EIA data showed.
In its February Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) published last week, the EIA estimates that U.S. crude oil production averaged 12.0 million bpd in January, up 90,000 bpd from December. The EIA now sees U.S. crude oil production averaging 12.4 million bpd this year and 13.2 million bpd next year, and most of the growth would come from the Permian.
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In the Permian, the EIA estimates in its monthly Drilling Productivity Report published this week that crude oil production is set to rise above 4 million bpd in March for the first time in history. This month, the fastest-growing shale play in the United States is producing an estimated average of 3.981 million bpd, which is set to expand by 43,000 bpd in March, to 4.024 million bpd. This will in turn push the total shale oil output of the United States up by 84,000 bpd to 8.398 million bpd in March from 8.314 million bpd in February.
After the EIA figures showed another record in U.S. crude production, oil prices initially turned lower on Thursday amid concerns that soaring American output would be offsetting a large part of the OPEC+ cuts.
Early on Friday, however, prices were supported by hopes that the U.S. and China could reach a deal and avert a trade war. At 07:00 a.m. EST, WTI Crude was up 0.91 percent at $57.48 and Brent Crude traded up 0.54 percent at $67.55.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.