EIA Sees US Oil Output Growth Slowing Slightly; Cuts Price View


Nov 12 (Reuters) - U.S. domestic oil output will keep growing next year as slumping crude prices have not discouraged producers in fast-growing shale regions, the U.S. government said on Wednesday, but it trimmed its output forecast by about 100,000 barrels per day.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration also said it expects Saudi Arabia to curb production. But it still cut its forecast for Brent crude prices in 2015 by $18 a barrel from last month's view, to an average of $83 a barrel.

Early Wednesday afternoon, December Brent crude was trading at $80.91 a barrel, down 76 cents.

The EIA now expects U.S. production to rise by 850,000 bpd to around 9.4 million bpd, according to its monthly short-term energy outlook. A month ago it was forecasting a 960,000 bpd rise next year.

It was a rare downgrade from the EIA, which like many forecasters has been consistently underestimating booming U.S. shale growth.

The typically cautious EIA lowered its production forecast by much less than most other analysts. Global oil prices have slumped to four-year lows, raising questions about the sustainability of breakneck growth from a U.S. shale industry that took off about four years ago.

"Lower crude oil prices may curb drilling activity in some lower-producing U.S. basins, but total domestic oil production should continue to increase through next year as crude prices will be high enough to support most drilling" in key shale plays, EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said in a statement.


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