US oil boom continues to break records
The epic American oil boom is just getting started. OPEC, on the other hand, is stuck on the sidelines.The biggest inhibitor to more robust growth in the Texas oil fields is the wait for pipelines and port facilities to be completed. When that happens the hundreds of uncompleted wells will come online and fill the new pipelines with more oil. If the US is able to convert its refining capacity to deal with the light crude it could eventually replace all oil imports. That would put more pressure on OPEC.
US oil production is on track to spike to a record 13.4 million barrels per day by the end of 2019, according to a recent report by energy research firm Rystad Energy. Texas alone is expected to soon top 5 million barrels per day in oil production — more than any OPEC member other than Saudi Arabia.
The surge in American barrels — led by the Permian Basin in West Texas — has offset oil blocked by US sanctions on Venezuela and Iran. But all of that US oil is also contributing to a supply glut that last week sent crude into another bear market.
OPEC has been forced to scale back its output — a trend that could continue as the cartel tries to prop prices back up.
"We continue to see the Permian representing the key driver of global oil supply growth for the next five years," Goldman Sachs analyst Brian Singer wrote to clients on Monday.
The shale oil revolution has made the United States the world's leading producer, surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia.
The ferocity of the US shale oil revolution has caught analysts off guard several times over the past decade.
Rystad Energy ramped up its year-end US output forecast by 200,000 to 13.4 million barrels per day. In May, the United States likely produced a record 12.5 million barrels of oil per day, the firm added. All but four million of those barrels were from shale oilfields.
That growth is expected to continue. The United States is on track to end 2020 by producing 14.3 million barrels per day, Rystad projects. That's slightly higher than the firm previously estimated and nearly triple 2008's output.