U.S. oil production nears 12 mln barrels/day, at pre-pandemic high


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HOUSTON — U.S. oil output climbed to nearly 12 million barrels per day in August, highest since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as shale companies have said they do not see production accelerating in coming months.

U.S. crude prices have hovered around $85 a barrel after surging into the triple-digits this year and boosting fuel costs for consumers. President Joe Biden has called on oil companies to boost production to reduce fuel prices.

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Overall U.S. output peaked at 13 million barrels a day in late 2019, and has not returned to that level since the pandemic started as rigs have been shut in and as costs for equipment and labor increased rapidly.

Several U.S. shale producers recently said well results are disappointing, and

production is falling short

of forecasts.

A little over two years after the pandemic wrecked havoc on demand and slashed profits, four of the five largest global oil companies brought in roughly $50 billion in net income in the most recent quarter.

U.S. upstream oil companies are expected to bank a 68% increase in free cash flow per barrel in 2022, while output growth lingers at 4.5% year to date,

Deloitte said

last week. (Reporting by Arathy Somasekhar in Houston; Editing by Mark Porter and David Gregorio)


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