EIA expects rise in U.S. oil production

Aug. 10, 2011 at 8:24 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Despite expected declines in production from Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, overall U.S. oil production is predicted to increase modestly, the EIA estimates.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration in its short-term energy outlook predicted that oil production from Alaska would fall from around 550,000 barrels per day in 2011 to 530,000 bpd in 2012.

Senate leaders in Alaska met recently with U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to review offshore petroleum reserve potential in the state despite environmental concerns of drilling in regional waters.

Production in the Gulf of Mexico, the site of last year's massive oil spill, is expected to decline from 2010 levels of nearly 1.6 million bpd to just 1.39 million bpd in 2012, the EIA said.

The EIA added, however, that domestic oil production for 2012 would average around 5.65 million bpd, a slight increase from its July prediction of 5.61 million bpd.

The energy agency attributed much of the expected increase to "oil-directed drilling activity in unconventional shale formations."

Republican lawmakers in the United States are pressuring Washington to expand domestic oil production to ease dependence on foreign reserves.

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