'Extraordinary' growth could see United States produce more oil than Russian Federation

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According to the International Energy Agency, the United States is expected to pass Saudi Arabia this year and challenge Russian Federation as the world's leading oil producer.

USA crude production last month climbed by 1.3 million barrels a day more than during the year prior, the IEA said.

The rising consumption is being met by increased output from outside OPEC, the Middle East dominated producer club said.

The global crude oil market seems not to have recovered from the fears of another supply glut as West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell below $60 on Tuesday. "The oil market may become re-balanced in 2019 or later, instead of the end of 2018".

The IEA's warning came in the latest monthly report from the Paris-based advisor to energy producers - the first it has issued since USA government data showed America's oil output in November, roughly matching the all-time record set in 1970. American weekly crude output topped 10 million barrels a day for the first time on record, and the USA government forecasts it will balloon to 11 million later this year. This, however, is not necessarily the case: "oil price rises have come to a halt and gone into reverse, and, according to our supply/demand balance, so might the decline in oil stocks, at least in the early part of this year".

United States crude production - already close to record-highs - is predicted to lift even further in the years ahead given easy access to new supply.

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The IEA also confirmed its forecast that the US would become the world's leading energy producer by 2019.

But even as the elusive "balance" in the oil market is within reach, the IEA says things might quickly reverse. Still, they acknowledge that oil demand grew at a rate of 1.6 million bpd in 2017, so they expect a demand drop even though global growth is stronger than it was previous year.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures slipped 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, to settle at $62.59.

Expectations of robust oil demand growth also prompted JPMorgan to raise its forecast, seeing Brent prices averaging $70 this year, with a peak of $78 a barrel at some point in the first half, when strong demand will continue to push prices up.

Kuwait expects cooperation on oil policy to continue beyond 2018, he said. In Cushing, Okla., home to the biggest American pipeline hub, crude inventories probably decreased by 1.7 MMbbl last week, according to a forecast compiled by Bloomberg.

While Saudi Arabia is leading OPEC nations by example, much of the fall in production can be attributed to Venezuela, which is more to do with instability than to careful management.

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