U.S. expected to reverse drop in oil output

Jan 14, 1998 01:00 AM

U.S. crude oil production is expected to increase slightly this year, the first jump in annual oil output since 1991, according to the latest estimates from the Department of Energy (DOE).
Average domestic oil production in 1998 is projected to increase from last year's level by 16,000 bpd to 6.42 mm bpd, the DOE's Energy Information Administration said in its new quarterly Short-Term Energy Outlook.
However, U.S. crude output is expected to resume its downward trend in 1999 as production falls to 6.39 mm bpd. This is the DOE's first short-term projection for oil output during 1999.
Alaska is expected to account for 18.7 % of total U.S. crude production in 1999, with the state's oil output projected to decrease by 8 % this year to 1.19 mm bpd, and remain flat in 1999. Average oil production in the lower 48 states is projected to increase by 120,000 bpd to 5.23 mm bpd in 1998, and then drop 35,000 bpd to 5.19 mm bpd next year. "The increase in 1998 is due mainly to production from new federal offshore oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico," the DOE said.
U.S. net imports of crude oil are expected to decline slightly to 7.89 mm bpd in 1998, the first yearly drop since 1991. However, oil imports are projected to increase again in 1999 to 8.15 mm bpd.
The average price for a barrel of imported crude is expected to be $ 16.73 cents this year, way down from $ 18.62 in 1997. The price of imported crude is projected to rise again to $ 17.51 a barrel in 1999, the DOE said.
Growth in gasoline demand in 1998 is expected to more than double from last year, due in part to a jump in personal disposable income as well as a drop in retail gasoline prices. Growth in gasoline demand is projected to slow in 1999, however, reflecting moderation in personal income increases, the DOE said.

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