U.S. oil output to edge above 12 million bpd late 2019: EIA

FILE PHOTO: Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing oil hub, in Cushing, Oklahoma, U.S., in this March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil production is expected to average more than 12 million barrels per day late next year for the first time ever, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report on Tuesday.

U.S. oil production has soared, boosted by improved technology for tapping shale formations. Output rose 5.6 percent last year and is expected to grow 15.4 percent this year. If the forecasts are realized, that will make the United States the world’s largest crude producer, surpassing Russia.

“Production growth in the United States, Brazil, Canada, and Russia will make up the majority of total global supply growth in 2019,” EIA Administrator Linda Capuano said in a statement after the report was released.

The agency increased its 2019 average forecast by 40,000 bpd to 11.80 million bpd, and increased its forecast for the fourth quarter of that year by 50,000 bpd to 12.02 million.

U.S. crude production this year is expected to be 10.79 million bpd, unchanged from last month’s forecast, according to the agency, which is the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The EIA expects production to average 10.91 million bpd this quarter and 11.29 million in the fourth quarter.

Total U.S. oil demand is expected to be 20.35 million bpd this year, 60,000 bpd less than previously forecast. At the same time, the agency increased its 2019 demand outlook by 10,000 bpd to 20.68 million bpd.

If EIA’s forecast is realized, 2019 gasoline consumption would be the highest annual average on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2017, Capuano said.

Reporting By Jessica Resnick-Ault; Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Gregorio