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US 2013 crude oil production reaches highest level since 1989

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), total US crude production averaged 7.5 million bpd in 2013, 967 000 bpd higher than 2012, representing an increase of 15%. This was also the highest level of production in the US since 1989 and the highest percentage annual percentage increase since 1940.

US crude oil production gains were geographically concentrated in Texas and North Dakota, which together accounted for 83% of US production growth. Production in the Eagle Ford formation in South Texas reached an estimated 1.22 million bpd in December 2013. Production from the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana averaged 0.9 million bpd in 2013 and reached 1 million bpd in November 2013.

Increased domestic production provided US refineries with additional volumes of cost advantaged crude oil, supporting high refinery runs. Monthly US refinery utilisation averaged 88% in 2013 and exceeded 90% for six months of the year. Gross inputs to atmospheric crude oil distillation (CDU) units increased 355 000 bpd (2%) on 2012 levels.

The EIA predicts that production will average 8.4 million bpd in 2014, an increase of 0.9 million bpd.

Import reduction

Growing domestic production during 2013 displaced crude oil imports. Net imports fell to 7.6 million bpd, the lowest level since 1996. US net imports of crude oil fell by 861 000 bpd in 2013. Meanwhile, the share of US crude oil demand supplied by domestic production rose sharply to 49% in 2013, compared to 43% in 2012. US crude oil production was 6% higher than net imports in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Gasoline and diesel fuel prices increase

The US average retail price of regular gasoline increased three cents to US$ 3.51/gal. as of 10th March 2014. The Rocky Mountain and West Coast prices both increased by five cents, to US$ 3.44 and US$ 3.76/gal., respectively. Midwest prices rose by four cents to US$ 3.54/gal and the Gulf Coast price increased two cents to US$ 3.49/gal.

The US average retail price for diesel fuel was up by half a cent, remaining at US$ 4.02/gal. for a third consecutive week. The Gulf Coast price increased by two cents to US$ 3.81/gal. The Rocky Mountain price also increased by two cents, reaching US$ 4.00/gal. The East and West Coast prices were each up less than half a cent, remaining at US$ 4.16 and US$ 4.04/gal., respectively. The Midwest was an exception, posting a decline of one cent and reaching US$ 4.01/gal.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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