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U.S. crude oil production increased slightly during the week ending April 19, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.
According to EIA's data, U.S. crude oil production averaged 12.2 million barrels per day (b/d) last week, up by 100,000 barrels from the previous week and up by about 1.6 million b/d year on year.
In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, the EIA estimated that U.S. crude oil production averaged 12.1 million b/d in March, up 300,000 b/d from the February average.
The EIA also forecast that U.S. crude oil production will average 12.4 million b/d in 2019 and 13.1 million b/d in 2020, with most of the growth coming from the Permian Region of Texas and New Mexico.
According to the EIA, Brent crude oil spot prices averaged 66 U.S. dollars per barrel in March, up by 2 dollars per barrel from February. Brent prices for the first quarter of 2019 averaged 63 dollars per barrel, 4 dollars lower than the same period in 2018.
The EIA forecast that Brent spot prices will average 65 dollars per barrel in 2019 and 62 dollars per barrel in 2020, compared with an average of 71 dollars per barrel in 2018.
Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices will average 8 dollars per barrel lower than Brent prices in the first half of 2019 before the discount gradually falls to 4 dollars per barrel in late-2019 and through 2020, the EIA said.