U.S. crude oil production is expected to fall 870,000 barrels per day to 11.38 million bpd this year, a less steep decline than the 990,000 bpd previously forecast, the U.S. government said on Wednesday.
Nations worldwide, including the United States, have throttled back oil output in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and as fuel demand has dropped sharply. U.S. production dropped from 12 million bpd to roughly 10.5 million bpd. That helped U.S. prices, which briefly fell to minus-$40 a barrel, recover to nearly $45 in recent weeks.
A swifter rebound in output could create another supply glut. Lately, oil futures have slipped to near three-month lows due to oversupply fears. Saudi Arabia’s state oil company Aramco cut the October official selling prices for its Arab light oil, a sign of softening demand.
U.S. petroleum demand is expected to fall 2.12 million bpd this year to 18.42 million bpd, versus 2 million bpd forecast last month.
Gasoline demand is expected to fall 1.04 million bpd this year to an average of 8.27 million bpd, compared with a decline of 91,000 bpd previously expected.
Demand for distillate fuels, including diesel and jet fuel, is expected to fall 340,000 bpd to 3.76 million bpd this year, slightly less than the 360,000-bpd decline forecast previously.
Output is expected to drop 300,000 bpd to 11.08 million bpd in 2021, the report said. Previously, the agency expected a decline of just 120,000 bpd next year.