NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. crude oil production fell 187,000 barrels per day in February to 11.7 million bpd as output dropped in the Gulf of Mexico and key on-shore oil producing states including Oklahoma and North Dakota, according to U.S. government data on Tuesday.
The production decline was the second consecutive slip, following a fall in January, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration data.
Rising output to record levels due to increased production from onshore shale formations and an uptick in the Gulf of Mexico has made the U.S. the top global oil producer and has shifted global trade flows of crude. As a result, monthly production is closely watched.
Crude output in the Gulf of Mexico dropped 9.8 percent from a month earlier to 1.7 million bpd, the EIA said in its monthly 914 production report. Production fell 4.6 percent to 1.3 million bpd in North Dakota and 1.1 percent to 573,000 bpd in Oklahoma.
The losses were not offset by slight production increases in Texas and New Mexico where the Permian Basin, the largest U.S. oilfield, is located. Output in Texas, the largest-producing state, rose 1.3 percent to 4.8 million bpd, while in New Mexico, it rose 3.2 percent to 843,000 bpd.
The EIA also revised down its estimate for oil production in January by 1,000 bpd to 11.87 million bpd.
Total U.S. demand for oil in February rose 2.9 percent, or 575,000 bpd, year-on-year, to 20.2 million bpd, driven by strong consumption for gasoline and distillates, EIA data showed. Demand in January had been relatively unchanged from the previous year.
Gasoline demand in February was up 1.7 percent, or 146,000 bpd, year-over-year to nearly 9 million bpd, while consumption of distillates, which includes heating oil and diesel, soared 9.3 percent, or 369,000 bpd, from a year ago to 4.331 million bpd.
Meanwhile, monthly gross natural gas production in the Lower 48 U.S. states rose to a record high 99.0 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in February after declining to 98.0 bcfd in January, according to the report.
The decline in January 2019 was the first monthly decrease since January 2018.
In Texas, the nation’s largest gas producer, output increased 2.5 percent in the month to a record high 26.5 bcfd in February. That compares with 22.4 bcfd in February 2018.
In Pennsylvania, the second-biggest gas-producing state, production also rose to a record high of 18.6 bcfd in February, up 0.2 percent from January. That compares with output of 16.5 bcfd a year ago.
Reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault additional reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Marguerita Choy