WASHINGTON, March 7 (UPI) -- Crude oil production in the United States is expected to surge to 5.83 million barrels per day in 2012, an increase from last year, the EIA declared.
The U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its March energy outlook that crude oil production should increase from 5.6 million barrels per day in 2011 to 5.83 million bpd in 2012.
Critics accuse U.S. President Barack Obama of blocking domestic energy production. The White House says oil production is the highest it's been in years, though Republican leaders say that's because of policies enacted by the previous administration.
The White House in February said it reached a deal with the Mexican government to explore for oil and natural gas along the shared maritime border in the Gulf of Mexico. Energy explorers are returning to the gulf after the 2010 oil spill, though the EIA said oil production there, along with that off the Alaskan coast, is expected to decline slightly in 2012.
The EIA added that volatility in Middle East and African markets is contributing to higher prices for crude oil.