U.S. crude oil production averaged an estimated 8.5 million barrels per day in July, the highest level since April 1987, the Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday.
In its monthly short term energy outlook, the EIA also raised its crude production forecasts for this year to 8.5 million bpd from its previous estimate of 8.42 million bpd and for next year’s output to 9.3 million bpd from 9.27 million bpd previously.
The 2015 forecast represents the highest annual average level of oil production since 1972.
The growth in domestic production has caused a decline in petroleum imports, said the EIA, which expects the share of imports of total U.S. consumption of petroleum and other liquids in 2015 to fall to 22 percent from the 2013 rate of 33 percent. The import share in 2015 would be the lowest level since 1970.
The EIA also lowered production forecasts for Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as member states try to accommodate growing production in non-OPEC countries.
It decreased its 2014 forecast for OPEC production by 300,000 bpd to 35.84 million bpd and its 2015 forecast by some 100,000 bpd to 36.07 million bpd.
Supply forecasts for non-OPEC countries will rise to 55.81 million bpd this year from the previous estimate of 55.66 million bpd on growth in the United States, Canada and Russia. Supply for 2015 will rise to 56.90 million bpd from 56.88 million bpd.
The EIA added its forecast does not assume disruption to oil supply or demand as a result of ongoing events in Ukraine.
(Reporting By Catherine Ngai; Editing by Marguerita Choy)