Despite growth late in the year, U.S. crude oil production decreased in 2016
U.S. Energy Information Administration ------- Despite increasing crude oil prices throughout most of 2016, total U.S. crude oil production in 2016 was below its 2015 level. However, monthly production began growing in the fourth quarter of the year after declining over the first three quarters. Total 2016 production remained above the five-year average. With the removal of restrictions on exports of domestically produced crude oil at the end of 2015, crude oil exports increased. At the same time, the difference between Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices narrowed, which made crude oil imports relatively more attractive and caused total imports of crude oil in 2016 to also increase. Both Brent and WTI crude oil spot prices increased in 2016. The Brent spot price increased from $31 per barrel (b) in January to $53/b in December, while the WTI spot price increased from $32/b to $52/b over the same period. The increase for WTI was its largest annual price increase since 2009. The November 2016 Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreement to cut production beginning in January 2017 led to further price increases at the end of 2016 in anticipation of some level of member country compliance with the production cuts. To learn more click on the picture below to read more from EIA.