HOUSTON (ICIS)--US crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to continue increasing in 2018 and 2019, after reaching a record high of 1.65m bbl/day in 2017, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.
Based on its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the EIA said annual crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico will increase to an average of 1.7m bbl/day in 2018 and 1.8m bbl/day in 2019.
The EIA expects the Gulf of Mexico to account for 16% of total US crude oil production each year.
Seven new projects and expansions came online in 2016, and two others started up in 2017.
The EIA expects these projects to ramp up over the next two years, with four new projects coming online in 2018 and six more in 2019.
The Gulf of Mexico is less sensitive to short-term oil price movements than onshore production in the Lower 48 states, the EIA said, and recent increases in crude oil prices have yet to significantly affect Gulf of Mexico operations.
While higher crude oil prices could deter increasing rig counts in the coming years, this affects discovery of future projects and not current production levels, the EIA said.
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