Washington — US oil output averaged a record 13 million b/d last week, according to US Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday, but a slowdown in production growth appears underway.
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Weekly US oil production had been between 12.8 million b/d and 12.9 million b/d since mid-November, according to EIA estimates.
In its Short-Term Energy Outlook, released Tuesday, EIA forecast US oil output to average 13.15 million b/d in January, climbing to 14 million b/d by November 2021. EIA forecasts US oil output to average 13.3 million b/d this year and 13.71 million b/d in 2021.
While EIA is still forecasting output growth, the rate of growth will slow substantially. US oil output, which grew by 1.64 million b/d from 2017 to 2018 and 1.25 million b/d from 2018 to 2019, will grow by 1.06 million b/d from 2019 to 2020 and then by just 410,000 b/d from 2020 to 2021, according to EIA.
In its weekly report Wednesday, EIA said that net crude imports averaged just over 3.07 million b/d last week, with about 6.55 million b/d of imports and 3.48 million b/d in exports.
US refiners last week imported just 203,000 b/d of Saudi crude, about half the amount they imported the week before and the lowest amount since the week ending November 1.
US imports of Canadian crude averaged nearly 3.84 million b/d, up about 231,000 b/d from the previous week, while crude imports from Mexico averaged 595,000 b/d, up 19,000 b/d from the previous week.