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US oil production hits 12 million bpd threshold

The boom in US oil production continued apace as the country reached the 12 million barrels per day (bpd) mark in the week ending February 15, according to weekly petroleum data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Exports of US crude also reached a new high of 3.607 million bpd, substantially beating the existing record from last year (3.203 million bpd).

The EIA also recently released its latest short-term energy outlook, in which it also estimated average daily crude production at 12 million bpd for January. It now predicts that US crude production will average 12.4 million bpd this year, rising to 13.2 million bpd next year, at which point the country will become a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products.

Reaching this new level of production implies that US oil production is growing much faster than anticipated. Just last year in November, the EIA predicted this level of production would be attained in the second quarter, having moved forward earlier estimates that had it occurring in the fourth quarter.

The EIA cites the Permian Basin as being responsible for much of the growth, despite concerns about takeaway capacity constraints. For example, ExxonMobil, the oil giant that also makes high-quality lubricants for Mobil distributors, announced early last year that it planned to triple production in the Permian Basin by 2025. In its monthly Drilling Productivity Report, the EIA predicts production in the region could exceed four million bpd for the first time in March.

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