US crude oil output to average 9.25 mil b/d in 2017, 9.84 mil in 2018: EIA

Washington (Platts)--12 Sep 2017 225 pm EDT/1825 GMT

The US Energy Information Administration on Tuesday lowered its forecasts for US crude oil output both this year and next, but still expects domestic production records to be broken next year.

In its Short-Term Energy Outlook, the agency said it expects US crude output to average 9.25 million b/d in 2017 and 9.84 million b/d in 2018.

Those estimates are 100,000 b/d and 70,000 b/d, respectively, lower than last month's estimate, but the expected 2018 average would mark the highest annual average production in US history, according to the EIA. The previous record dates back to 1970, when the US averaged 9.6 million b/d.

EIA expects much of the growth to take place onshore, in the Lower 48 states, where daily output will climb from 6.76 million b/d in 2016 to 7.08 million b/d in 2017 and to 7.58 million b/d in 2018.

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Production in the Gulf of Mexico is forecast to climb from 1.69 million b/d in 2017 to 1.78 million b/d in 2018, while oil production in Alaska is expected to drop slightly over that time, from 490,000 b/d to 480,000 b/d, according to EIA.

Overall, US production is forecast to climb from 9.29 million b/d this month to 9.69 million b/d by the end of the year. Output is expected to, for the first time, cross the 10 million b/d threshold in November 2018, when it is forecast to average 10.02 million b/d.

EIA also forecast WTI spot prices to average $48.83/b in 2017 and $49.58/b in 2018, essentially the same as it had forecast in last month's report. EIA also forecasts Brent to average $51.07/b in 2017, down 65 cents/b from last month's forecast, and $51.58/b in 2018, the same as it forecast last month.

--Brian Scheid,

--Edited by Annie Siebert,

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