Average daily crude oil production slipped during the month of January for the first time in nearly six months, according to the Energy Information Administration’s latest report published on Friday.
January oil production for the United States averaged 11.871 million bpd for January—down from 11.961 million bpd in the month prior. The last decrease in oil production came in May 2018, when production fell to 10.464 million bpd from 10.475 million bpd in April 2018.
The decrease was seen in almost all PADDs across the board including in PADD 2, PADD 3, PADD 4, and PADD 5. Some of the largest production declines were seen in Texas, Colorado, and California.
Not many states increased oil production in January, with just Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and Alaska North Slope gaining that distinction.
Despite January’s decline, oil production in the United States is up significantly year on year, up 1.876 million bpd since January 2018, or almost 19 percent, but as oil prices faltered toward the latter half of 2018, some US producers scaled back their spending in response.
The number of oil rigs, too, are up year on year in the United States, with a 19-rig gain for a total of 816 rigs for the week. Still, the number of oil rigs in the first quarter of 2019 has dropped sharply, falling from 885 at the close of 2018 to 816 rigs this week—a drop of 8 percent.
While US production may have declined in January, oil exports are decidedly up, booking a rise from 77.8 million barrels for the entire month of December to 79.830 million barrels during the month of January. Year on year shows an even larger increase—almost double from January 2018.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) claimed that US oil production averaged 10.6 mbd in 2017 when it was actually 9.36 mbd according to the authoritative 2018 OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin. In 2018, it claimed that US production averaged 11.7 mbd but it admitted later that it was 10.9 mbd. Now the EIA is saying that US production will average 12.3 mbd in 2019 but judging by its record over the 2017 and 2018 figures, we should expect a production of around 11 mbd in 2019 if not less.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London