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Oil: US becoming a force to be reckoned with



shale oil young workerAndrew Burton/Getty Images

After becoming the world’s
largest oil producer this year, US influence in the energy market
has continued to grow.

US production rose to a record
high of 11.475 million barrels per day in September, the

Energy Information Administration

said Friday. That’s about 20%
higher than output over the same period in 2017 and the second
largest year-over-year gain.

Technology like hydraulic
fracking has helped put the US on its way to becoming a net
energy exporter for the first time since the 1950’s. Within the
next five years, it is expected to ship more petroleum than it
imports as rising output meets slowing domestic demand.

Record output levels, however,
come at an uncertain time in the global energy market. Prices

West Texas

, the US
benchmark, have fallen by more than a quarter to near $50 a
barrel over the past three months, the
lowest since October 2017

OPEC and other major producers
are considering coordinated output restrictions to stem a further
drop in prices. Additionally, analysts at JPMorgan expect US
production growth to slow over the next two years.

“This should help with a limited
recovery in oil prices from current level,” they said.

“However, this recovery is
unlikely to last as structurally demand should slow in 2019-20
based on our economists’ projection for GDP and low cost non-OPEC
supply growth should put a cap on oil prices in the absence of
any large scale geopolitical disruption.”

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