U.S. oil output from seven major shale formations is expected to rise by nearly 63,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in February to a record 8.179 million bbl/d, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report on Jan. 22.
The largest change is forecast in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico, where output is expected to climb by 23,000 bbl/d to a record of about 3.85 million bbl/d in February.
Rising U.S. shale production has helped vault the country to the position of world's biggest oil producer, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia. Overall crude production has climbed to a weekly record of 11.9 million bbl/d.
Production increases in the Permian Basin, the biggest oil field in the U.S., and the Bakken has surged over the past year.
However, the increase in Permian Basin production for February is the smallest projected increase since May 2018, when output fell slightly, the data showed. Output from the basin has come under pressure recently as oil prices crashed and the production surge outpaced pipeline capacity, trapping barrels in the region.
In North Dakota's Bakken region, shale production is estimated to rise by about 9,000 bbl/d to a record 1.42 million bbl/d. In the Eagle Ford region, output is expected to edge higher by 11,000 bbl/d to about 1.44 million bbl/d, which would be the highest monthly output since January 2016.
Meanwhile, U.S. natural gas output was projected to increase to a record 77.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in February. That would be up more than 0.8 Bcf/d over the January forecast and mark the 13th consecutive monthly increase.
A year ago in February output was 64.4 Bcf/d.
The EIA projected gas output would increase in all the big shale basins in February.
Output in the Appalachia region, the nation's biggest shale gas play, was set to rise over 0.2 Bcf/d to a record high of 31.6 Bcf/d in February. Production in Appalachia was 26.9 Bcf/d in the same month a year ago.
EIA said producers drilled 1,429 wells and completed 1,211 in the biggest shale basins in December, leaving total drilled but uncompleted wells up by 218 at a record high 8,594, according to data going back to December 2013.
U.S. sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry have made winners out of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc, Gulf of Mexico offshore heavyweights, as refiners in need of substitutes are scooping up oil produced in the region.
"Unlike Saudi Arabia and Russia, which adjust their output in response to gluts or shortages in oil supplies, the U.S. shale market responds purely to oil prices," BP CEO Bob Dudley said at an industry event.
The 14-member OPEC pumped 30.40 million barrels per day last month, the survey showed on April 1, down 280,000 bbl/d from February and the lowest OPEC total since 2015, according to a Reuters survey.