Crude oil production in the U.S. is expected to grow slowly through 2021, according to a statement released by the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Monday.
The U.S.' crude oil output averaged 12.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019. This level is estimated to increase by 9% to reach 13.3 million bpd in 2020, and then increase by an additional 3% to reach 13.7 million bpd in 2021, the EIA said.
The administration said the slowdown in the U.S.' oil production growth is due to the decline in the number of oil rigs.
The latest data from the oilfield services company Baker Hughes shows that the oil rig count in the U.S. at 676 for the week ending Jan .24 is a 21.6% drop from the same period of the previous year.
Despite the decline in oil rigs, the EIA said it forecasts that "crude production will continue to grow with increasing rig efficiency and well-level productivity, offsetting the decline in the number of rigs until drilling activity accelerates in 2021."
"Crude oil production in Alaska and the Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico -- which collectively accounted for about 19% of U.S. total crude oil production in 2019 -- is driven by long-term investment that is typically less sensitive to short-term price movements," the EIA said in a statement.
The Administration said it expects oil production from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to grow by 0.1 million bpd in 2020 to 2 million bpd, and remain relatively flat in 2021.
Alaska’s crude oil production, meanwhile, is anticipated to remain relatively unchanged at about 0.5 million bpd in both 2020 and 2021, according to the EIA.
By Ovunc Kutlu