US Crude Exports Hit New High As OPEC Cuts Back

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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U.S. oil producers exported a record 1.3 million barrels of oil a day in May, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The achievement comes two weeks after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), along with 11 other countries, announced a nine-month extension to cuts in oil output, according to Reuters.

OPEC announced the cut in December 2016. The 1.8 million barrel a day reduction was enacted to drive the price of oil up and make the industry more profitable to OPEC producers. A recent glut in the world’s oil inventories has kept the price of oil low enough to cause worry among OPEC members

The U.S. oil and gas industry, outside of OPEC’s agreement, has increased production as 24 other oil producing countries have cut back. Since OPEC’s December cuts, Texas has added 12,000 jobs in the oil and gas industry. U.S. oil exports have surged the past six months from 442,000 barrels a day in December.

Even with OPEC putting upward pressure on the price of oil by cutting supply, oil prices have stayed constant around $50 a barrel.

“The market is still awash in oil, and it’s waiting to see more concrete signs of global oil inventories declining,” oil market analyst Andy Lipow told the Houston Chronicle. “While we’ve seen U.S. oil inventories decline, the market is still not convinced we’re seeing that trend worldwide.”

A January study of the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts the price of oil will rise to around $55 a barrel by 2018.

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Tim Pearce