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Higher oil output in 2022 from rebounding shale projects predicted by US

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The US government is forecasting oil production to rise about 3.5 percent next year spurred by higher crude prices and a rebound in shale drilling.

Oil output will average 11.49 million barrels a day in 2022, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The agency, which left its production estimate for this year unchanged at 11.1 million, said that recent crude price increases and rig additions will help production in the Lower 48 states begin to rise in the second quarter of this year.

US crude production is hovering at about 11 million barrels a day, after climbing above 13 million early last year before the pandemic crushed demand. The US oil rig count has climbed for seven straight weeks and is at the highest level since May, Baker Hughes data showed.

But a comeback will likely be gradual. While oil prices surged above $50 a barrel after Saudi Arabia surprised the market with a plan to unilaterally slash production in the coming months, many drillers say they may resist the temptation to turn on the taps so quickly. Most shale producers are now more focused on clearing debt and honoring investor pledges to keep fiscal discipline.

Pioneer Natural Resources Co’s CEO Scott Sheffield said last month that US oil output is expected to remain roughly flat at about 11 million barrels a day for the next few years.

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