The chiefs of major U.S. oil companies Occidental Petroleum Corp and ConocoPhillips offered differing outlooks on the growth of U.S. oil output at a conference Monday, as the industry rebounds from shutdowns during the first stage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Oil prices have surged to seven-year highs in the last several weeks, with international benchmark Brent crude nearly hitting $90 per barrel, bolstered by tight worldwide supply and resurgent global demand.
ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Ryan Lance told an audience at the Argus Americas Crude Summit in Houston that he was bullish about markets as high oil prices “will persist for a while.”
He predicted output would likely eclipse the record 13 million barrels per day (bpd) reached in late 2019.
Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub was more measured in her forecast, saying the United States would likely surpass 12 million bpd at some point – but fall short of that all-time record.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that annual crude production will average 11.8 million bpd this year and 12.4 million bpd in 2023. That average would be a record for a full year, even though it is less than the monthly record of 12.97 million bpd set in November 2019.