US crude output up in July, buoyed by offshore

OREANDA-NEWS. October 01, 2015. US crude production was up by about 1pc in July compared to the previous month, largely because of an increase in offshore Gulf of Mexico output, according to US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

July production averaged about 9.4mn b/d, an increase of about 1pc from June, the EIA said.

Offshore Gulf of Mexico production averaged about 1.6mn b/d, up by about 10pc, or 147,000 b/d from June.

The increase reflects some offshore platforms boosting output after periods of maintenance in the previous months.

Mars pipeline deliveries in July averaged about 347,000 b/d, up from about 256,000 b/d in June when maintenance was underway at the Mars platform. In addition, the Endymion pipeline in July delivered about 102,000 b/d of crude from the Thunder Horse platform to the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) facility, the highest since May 2012. This was an increase from about 71,000 b/d in June and from no volumes in May when the pipeline was shut because of maintenance on the Destin natural gas pipeline which carries associated gas production to Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The crude production release today was the second EIA monthly update using a new methodology to calculate output.

In the previous update on 31 August the agency revised lower monthly US crude production data for January through May of 2015.

Onshore production in July declined slightly or was flat in most states.

Production in July in Texas averaged 3.45mn b/d, down by 12,000 b/d from June.

In North Dakota, home of the Bakken shale, the July average was about 1.2mn b/d, down by just 3,000 b/d from June.

Output in Oklahoma fell by 17,000 b/d and production in Louisiana fell by 6,000 b/d.

The EIA's new methodology has shifted to a method which includes a direct survey of oil producers in 15 states, including Texas, Louisiana, North Dakota and New Mexico. The agency uses a similar method to calculate monthly natural gas output.

The EIA made the methodology changes because crude production data from state agencies is often incomplete or lagging.

The July output figures from Oklahoma were calculated using the EIA's previous methodology because the EIA is still verifying data from that state.