U.S. expected to end 2018 as world’s top oil producer: EIA

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(Reuters) – U.S. crude oil output growth was expected to slow slightly for this year compared with previous forecasts, the Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday, but at a record 10.88 million barrels per day, the nation will end 2018 as the world’s top producer.

Output this year was forecast to rise 1.53 million bpd to 10.88 million bpd, down from the EIA’s previous estimate of an increase of 1.55 million bpd. The current all-time U.S. annual output peak was in 1970 at 9.6 million bpd, according to federal energy data.

For 2019, U.S. crude oil production was expected to average 12.06 million bpd, the EIA said, up 1.18 million bpd from the prior year which is a small upward revision from the previous forecast of a 1.16-million bpd rise.

A shale revolution has helped the United States produce a record amount of oil this year and topple Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer.

“The United States will conclude 2018 as the world’s largest producer of crude oil,” said EIA Administrator Dr. Linda Capuano.

“EIA’s December short-term outlook largely attributes the recent decline in Brent crude oil spot prices, which averaged $65 per barrel in November, to record production among the world’s largest crude oil producers and concerns about weaker global oil demand.”

Oil prices have crashed more than 30 percent from their near four-year highs in early October as worries about a glut gripped the market. [O/R]

In 2019, oil demand is estimated to rise by 330,000 bpd to 20.81 million bpd, up from its previous estimate of a rise of 220,000 bpd.

For 2018, U.S. oil demand is expected to rise by 520,000 bpd to 20.48 million bpd, EIA said, slightly raising its previous forecast of a 510,000 bpd rise to 20.47 million bpd.