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US oil production to fall less than expected

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has revised its forecast for average production of crude oil in the US. Instead of dropping by 240,000 barrels per day (bpd), which it previously forecasted, it will drop by just 190,000 bpd, thereby producing 11.1 million bpd.

The revision is likely a result of oil prices increasing following Saudi Arabia’s commitment to voluntarily cut its oil production, which in turn may have prompted US shale producers like ExxonMobil, the maker of the Mobil Vactra slideway oils, to increase production.

The introduction of COVID-19 vaccines has also helped to rally prices, but the gains have been tempered by concerns about vaccine supply, continuing lockdowns and the spread of new variants.

The US is the world’s largest consumer of oil products, so it has long been a net importer of crude oil and petroleum products, but the reduced demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, combined with what is still a relatively high level of crude oil production, led to it becoming a net exporter last year.

Linda Capuano, the EIA’s administrator, told Reuters:

“In 2020, the United States exported more crude oil and petroleum products than it imported on an annual basis for the first time in EIA’s data series that dates back to 1949.”

However, Capuano added that the EIA anticipates that the country will again be a net importer of crude oil and derived products this year and next year due to a predicted 1.45 million bpd rise in US consumption of liquid petroleum-based fuels.

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