Despite a slow start to the year, US crude output is still expected to surge for the rest of 2019 and hit at least 13 million barrels daily by the end of 2019, a new report projects.
A combination of weather effects and depressed oil prices at the beginning of the year kept US oil production from rising much in early 2019, but that is expected to change through the rest of the year, said the Norwegian research firm Rystad Energy.
“Despite temporary challenges faced in the beginning of the year, E&P companies are set to deliver on their original production and capital targets, with some being well positioned to perform above initial expectations,” said Veronika Akulinitseva, a senior analyst at Rystad
U.S. crude oil production began the year at 11.7 million barrels a day and is now fluctuating between 12.1 million barrels daily and a record high of 12.2 million barrels per day each week, according to U.S. Energy Department estimates.
But the nation’s oil output has essentially remained flat since late February.
The Energy Department still projects U.S. oil output of 13.4 million barrels daily in 2020.
Rested said it analyzed the first quarter results of about 50 U.S. shale operators. Many saw slowdowns in the first quarter with overall output growing just 0.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2018.
“The slow first quarter implies an even steeper expected growth curve for the remainder of the year,” Akulinitseva added. “In fact, acceleration of oil production for many operators is already underway and oil additions are thus likely to increase notably already in the second quarter of 2019.”