In its latest report, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has improved its 2017-2018 forecast of the state of the country’s oil industry as well as its projection of the benchmark price.
In contrast to the previous data, which showed US crude output at 8.78 million barrels per day in 2017, the EIA now eyes an average of 9 million bpd during the year with further growth to 9.3 million bpd in 2018.
The updated figures mostly reflect the expansion of production activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Improvements in shale oil production also add to the upward revision, as improving commodity prices offer US producers the opportunity to bring their idle oil rigs back to life.
In 2016, US crude oil output averaged at 8.9 million barrels per day.
Besides US crude production, the EIA is also optimistic about oil prices for the next two years. According to the latest reevaluation, West Texas Intermediate is expected to average at $52.50 per barrel in 2017, as opposed to $50.66 in previous forecasts. For 2018, the Administration sees WTI at $55.18/barrel.
At the same time, Brent price is expected to stand at $53.50 and $56.18 per barrel in 2017 and 2018, respectively.