U.S. crude oil output in 2018 is expected to grow more quickly than previously forecast to a record high, according to a monthly U.S. government forecast on Oct. 10.
Crude production was expected to rise 1.39 million barrels per day (bbl/d) to 10.74 million bbl/d this year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its short-term energy outlook.
Last month, the agency expected crude output to rise by 1.31 million bbl/d to 10.66 million bbl/d in the year.
U.S. production has soared, boosted by technological advances that have enabled drillers to tap shale formations, with output this year forecast to overtake the previous annual record of 9.6 million bbl/d in 1970. In 2017, the U.S. produced 9.4 million bbl/d.
Production is expected to average 11.03 million bbl/d in the third quarter of this year. If the forecast is accurate, it will be the first quarter on record with U.S. production above 11 million bbl/d.
The agency also expected production in 2019 to grow more quickly than previously forecast, rising 1.02 million bbl/d to 11.76 million bbl/d, compared with growth of 840,000 bbl/d to 11.50 million bbl/d in last month's forecast.
The agency slightly cut its forecasts for demand growth in 2018 and 2019.
The EIA now forecasts U.S. oil demand will rise 450,000 bbl/d to 20.41 million bbl/d in 2018, compared with 470,000 bbl/d previously.
Oil consumption will then rise another 230,000 bbl/d in 2019 to 20.64 million bbl/d, compared with 250,000 bbl/d previously.
U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose last week to their highest in about a year and a half as imports increased, even as refiners sharply ramped up output, the EIA says.
The agency, which coordinates the energy policies of industrialized nations, said global spare production capacity has risen to 3.3 million barrels per day due to high compliance rate with the agreed supply cuts among the OPEC and its allies.
Saudi Arabia's energy minister said he saw no need to raise oil output immediately after the United States ends waivers granted to buyers of Iranian crude.