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OPEC+ Cuts Offset By Booming U.S. Oil Production

Despite the fact that U.S. oil producers are now deploying the lowest number of drilling rigs in more than a year and a half, America's crude oil production is set to hit a monthly record in September—at 13 million barrels per day (bpd), according to estimates by Rystad Energy.
Production growth has slowed due to the discipline U.S. shale producers have shown in the past two years, but a slower increase still means that output is headed higher, the energy research firm says, as carried by The Wall Street Journal.  
The expected monthly record in September will match the record output from November 2019, the only other month in which U.S. production hit 13 million bpd—just a few months before the pandemic crippled demand, sank oil prices and led to production cuts across the board.  
U.S. crude oil production is set to increase even more until the end of the year, with October and four-quarter output estimated to average 13 million bpd-13.1 million bpd, according to Rystad Energy's analysis based on regulatory filings, satellite imagery, and pipeline flows.
Even at a slower pace, American production is growing and offsetting part of the OPEC+ cuts, although the extended Saudi and Russian supply reductions are set to tighten the global oil market more than previously expected.
U.S. shale production "is not growing as fast as before," Alexandre Ramos-Peon, Rystad Energy's head of shale research, told the Journal.
"But it doesn't mean that shale has to decline."
According to Ramos-Peon and Rystad Energy, all signs point to still growing U.S. shale, although growth is still slower than before Covid.
Despite the loss of active drilling rigs, shale firms are producing more oil and gas and have even exceeded some skeptical projections from earlier this year.
Last week, the total rig count fell to 630, per the latest Baker Hughes data—the fewest number of active drilling rigs since February 4, 2022. The number of oil rigs fell by 8 last week to 507, down by 114 so far in 2023.
Yet, large companies, including Chevron, Exxon, ConocoPhillips, and Pioneer Natural Resources, reported record Q2 production in the Permian or raised full-year 2023 guidance, or both.
Pipeline operator Enterprise Products Partners is getting upbeat messages from producers about activity, Tony Chovanec, VP Fundamentals and Supply Appraisal, said on the midstream operator's Q2 earnings call in early August.
"Watch what the producers are saying on -- during the second quarter. No one has a bad story. Everybody is very, very upbeat," Chovanec told analysts.
Efficiency in operations and capital expenditure is now king in the shale patch, and companies are trying to prove this by having longer wells drilled.  
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) slightly raised this month its projections for U.S. crude oil production this year and next—and expects annual output to set records in both years. U.S. crude oil production is seen averaging 12.78 million bpd in 2023 and 13.16 million bpd in 2024, up from 12.76 million bpd and 13.09 million bpd, respectively, in the August Short-Term Energy Outlook.  
The U.S. is also set to lead non-OPEC+ production growth, which is expected at 2 million bpd in 2023 and at 1.3 million bpd in 2024, led by the United States, Brazil, Canada, and Guyana, according to the EIA.  
So far this year, higher crude oil production from countries outside the OPEC+ alliance has managed to offset part of the OPEC+ cuts, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its closely-watched Oil Market Report for September.
"But from September onwards, the loss of OPEC+ production, led by Saudi Arabia, will drive a significant supply shortfall through the fourth quarter," the IEA said.  
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

Sep 27, 2023 13:46
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