The U.S. oil and gas industry is flourishing and there are no indications that it may stop growing any time soon. According to the latest Short-Term Energy Outlook released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total U.S. crude oil production next year will be the highest since 1972.
The agency predicted that crude oil production in 2015 is likely to come in at 9.3 million barrels per day on average, up from 7.4 million barrels per day in 2013 and 8.4 million barrels per day this year.
Total U.S. crude output reached an average of 8.4 million barrels per day in May. This was the highest monthly production in 25 years and it means that the U.S. monthly output in May was larger than that of all OPEC countries, except for Saudi Arabia.
As the Atlantic hurricane season starts in June, production is likely to see a slight drop but the EIA does not expect significant disruption, based on a forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which expects normal or below-normal hurricane activity. The EIA said that during last year's hurricane season, the total shut-in production in the Gulf of Mexico was only 3.1 million oil barrels of crude and 6.7 billion cubic feet of gas. This year, it predicted that the chances for matching or exceeding last year's shut-in rates stand at about 69 percent.