[Editor's note: This story was updated at 1:41 p.m. CDT May 31.]

U.S. crude oil production rose 241,000 barrels per day (bbl/d), or 2.1%, in March to 11.905 million bbl/d, just below its record high, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said May 31 in its monthly production report.

That monthly increase in U.S. production from a revised 11.664 million bbl/d in February followed two months of declines in January and February. U.S. monthly output peaked at 11.966 million bbl/d in December.

U.S. monthly output peaked at 11.966 million bbl/d in December.

Most of the increase came from the federal offshore Gulf of Mexico (GoM), which rose 11.1% to 1.907 million bbl/d, and North Dakota, which gained 3.2% to 1.352 million bbl/d.

Output in Texas, the biggest oil-producing state, meanwhile, eased 0.1% to 4.873 million bbl/d.

Total U.S. oil demand fell by 1.8%, or 369,000 bbl/d, to 20.204 million bbl/d in March vs. last year, as consumer appetite for gasoline and diesel softened, the EIA data showed.

Gasoline demand in March dropped by 2.9%, or 272,000 bbl/d, year-on-year to 9.17 million bbl/d, while distillate demand fell 0.3%, or 14,000 bbl/d, to 4.15 million bbl/d vs. last year, the EIA said.

Meanwhile, monthly gross natural gas production in the Lower 48 U.S. states rose to a fresh record high 99.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in March from the prior high of 99.1 Bcf/d in February, according to the report.

Those gains were driven by an 8.7% rise in the GoM to 2.9 Bcf/d and a 7.2% increase in North Dakota to a record high 2.8 Bcf/d.

In Texas, also the biggest gas producing state, output declined 0.9% to 26.4 Bcf/d from a monthly record high 26.6 Bcf/d in February.

In Pennsylvania, the second-biggest gas-producing state, output rose 0.7% to a record high 18.8 Bcf/d.