NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. crude oil output in 2018 is expected to grow more quickly than previously forecast to a record high, according to a monthly U.S. government forecast on Wednesday.
Crude production was expected to rise 1.39 million barrels per day to 10.74 million bpd this year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO).
Last month, the agency expected crude output to rise 1.31 million bpd to 10.66 million bpd in the year.
U.S. production has soared, boosted by technological advances that have enabled drillers to tap shale formations, with output this year forecast to overtake the previous annual record of 9.6 million bpd in 1970. In 2017, the U.S. produced 9.4 million bpd.
Production is expected to average 11.03 million bpd in the third quarter of this year. If the forecast is accurate, it will be the first quarter on record with U.S. production above 11 million bpd.
The agency also expected production in 2019 to grow more quickly than previously forecast, rising 1.02 million bpd to 11.76 million bpd, compared with growth of 840,000 bpd to 11.50 million bpd in last month’s forecast.
The agency slightly cut its forecasts for demand growth in 2018 and 2019.
The EIA now forecasts U.S. oil demand will rise 450,000 bpd to 20.41 million bpd in 2018, compared with 470,000 bpd previously.
Oil consumption will then rise another 230,000 bpd in 2019 to 20.64 million bpd, compared with 250,000 bpd previously.
Reporting By Jessica Resnick-Ault; Editing by Marguerita Choy