A worker fills up a car with fuel at a gas station in Lianyungang city, East China's Jiangsu province. [Photo/Xinhua]
The US Information Administration (EIA) forecasts in a report on Tuesday that the United States will become the world' s leading producer of crude oil if the output remains the current momentum.
Based on the June Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA forecast US crude oil production to average 10.8 million barrels per day in 2018, up from 9.4 million barrels per day in 2017, and to average 11.8 million barrels per day in 2019.
If realized, both of these forecast levels would surpass the previous record of 9.6 million barrels per day set in 1970.
EIA estimated that US crude oil production averaged 10.9 million barrels per day in June, up 0.1 million barrels per day from the May level. US crude output has remained above the 10 million barrels per day mark since February.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) crude oil production averaged 31.9 million barrels per day in June.
Although the OPEC and non-OPEC participants agreed on November last year to extend the production cuts through the end of 2018 in order to reduce global oil inventories, tightening market conditions led the group to relax the production cuts starting this month.
EIA expected that OPEC crude oil output will decrease by less than 0.1 million barrels per day on average in 2019, which reflects crude oil production increases from some producers that mostly make up for expected declines of more than 1.0 million barrels per day in Iran and Venezuela combined.
Meanwhile, EIA forecasts that total US crude oil and petroleum product net imports will fall from an annual average of 3.7 million barrels per day in 2017 to an average of 2.4 million barrels per day in 2018 and to an average of 1.6 million barrels per day in 2019, which would be the lowest level of net imports since 1958.