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U.S. Crude Production Sinks In May

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U.S. field production of crude oil fell in May to an average of 11.595 million barrels per day (bpd), new data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Friday.

That figure is down from 11.652 million bpd in April—a 57,000 bpd decline. May’s production figures are just 239,000 bpd above where they were at the same time last year, and 1.247 million bpd below pre-Covid levels.

U.S. crude oil production fell in May in PADDs 1 and 3, and rose in PADDs 2, 4, and 5. The largest state gain by far was in North Dakota, which saw its production increase from 895,000 bpd to 1.049 million bpd in May. Texas, meanwhile, saw drops in production from 5.017 million bpd to 4.965 million bpd—a level that is even under those seen in December of last year, showing no production growth in Texas at all across those five months.

New Mexico’s production dropped in May too, from 1.508 million bpd to 1.497 million bpd.

The figures vary significantly from what the EIA had originally estimated for May. The EIA had previously estimated that U.S. crude production in May would rise to 11.74 million bpd.

The Energy Information Administration estimated in its latest Short Term Energy Outlook that U.S. crude would average 11.91 million bpd this year, and 12.77 million bpd next year—a figure that if realized, would set a new record for U.S. production.

For June, the EIA estimated that production had risen to average 11.89 million bpd.

With U.S. crude oil inventories down 6% from the five-year average, even with roughly a million barrels per day coming out of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the news that U.S. production faltered in May and has failed to make any significant gains since last year contributed to Friday’s price increase, with WTI exceeding $100 per barrel, up more than 4% on the day.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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