Crude Oil Prices Have Cratered As Well

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NYMEX WTI crude futures for March delivery settled at $59.20 on Friday, down $1.95, capping a week of losses for the benchmark that culminated in the largest weekly decline in two years.

Earlier on Tuesday, the EIA issued the Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018), forecasting US production of shale oil and natural gas is projected to increase for decades, but the liquids production (mostly crude oil and petroleum products) will begin to decline toward 2050 as less productive areas are developed.

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The transformation is reflected in figures released in recent days that shows the USA now produces more oil than and means the Americans are likely to take over the No.1 producer spot from Russian Federation by the end of the year.

The number of rigs, which indicates the short-term change in the U.S.'s oil industry, is now at 791 - its highest since April 2015 - and a 34 percent increase over the previous year.

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The growth has surprised even the official U.S. Energy Information Administration, which this week raised its 2018 crude output forecast to 10.59 million bpd, up by 300,000 bpd from their last forecast just a week before. It was also the largest week-on-week oil rig increase since January 2017.

Rising US production, new oil fields in Nigeria and Angola, as well as a stronger dollar have dented oil prices badly in the past few weeks.

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