WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Total crude oil production in the United States in July was the highest level in more than a quarter century, the U.S. Energy Department said.
The Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, said in its monthly short-term market report total U.S. crude oil production reached 8.5 million barrels per day in July, the highest monthly level since April 1987.
EIA said oil production for full year 2014 should hold to the July level before rising by 9.3 million bpd in 2015, which would be the highest annual average level of production since 1972.
The highest annual average was 9.6 million barrels per day in 1970.
EIA said in its report oil production from the Gulf of Mexico is expected to increase 15 percent from last year to finish 2014 at 1.44 million bpd, as nearly a dozen new projects come on stream.
The rise in domestic oil production in turn means lower imports of foreign crude oil. EIA said imports nearly halved from 2005 to average 33 percent of the market share in 2013.
"EIA expects the net import share to decline to 22 percent in 2015, which would be the lowest level since 1970," the report said.