Opinion

US oil production could reach all time high during 2017


Rystad Energy, the energy data warehouse, now predicts US oil production grows so fast that an all-time high of 10 million barrels per day could be reached before December 31st this year. In a monthly report on latest oil market trends, our analysts show US oil production growing at 95 kbbld per month during 2017. All this growth stems from shale drilling, as the more modest growth from Gulf of Mexico deepwater fields is offsetting declines from other US conventional oilfields.

The historic record of 10 million barrels per day was reached during November, 1970 when US oil prices were still below 3 USD. This record was close to being surpassed in 2015 when US production peaked during April at 9.6 million barrels. Production then dropped 1 million barrels per day over 18 months as oil prices fell from above 100 to below 40 USD. Based on proprietary and detailed well level data, Rystad Energy sees current US production bouncing back twice as fast as it dropped, reaching 9.4 million barrels on May 31st. And, this very steep growth comes with US oil prices locked below the price most analysts estimated as a minimum to grow US oil production. The US Energy Information Administration just released their latest official data for March at 9.1 million barrels per day. Rystad Energy believes this implies another upward revision of the EIA's official oil production outlook for the US, which is now at 9.74 million barrels for December 2017.

“US oil production has grown faster at 50 USD than any analysts in the market predicted. As these numbers are getting confirmed, the initial optimism about OPEC's temporary cuts, may turn to increasing skepticism about OPEC's choice of policy once the current output deal expires next year,“ says Bjørnar Tonhaugen, VP Oil Markets at Rystad Energy.


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