WASHINGTON, May 7 (UPI) -- The amount of crude oil produced in the United States in April was the highest monthly figure recorded in more than 20 years, the U.S. government said.
The Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, said the monthly average production for April was 8.3 million barrels per day, the highest monthly average recorded since 1988.
Much of the increase in U.S. crude oil production comes from inland shale basins. The increase means import levels are lower for the United States, prompting less demand from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
EIA, in a monthly report published Tuesday, said it expects OPEC crude oil production to decline by 400,000 bpd this year and another 100,000 bpd in 2015.
For North America as a whole, EIA said production should increase this year by a combined 1.4 million bpd for 2014 and 1.1 million bpd in 2015.
For the United States, EIA said crude oil production should average 8.5 million bpd for the year and increase to 9.2 million bpd in 2015.
If EIA forecasts are correct, the 2015 production level will be the highest level since 1972.