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Opec sees first US output fall in 8 years

|By TAP Staff| The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has forecast the first fall in U.S. oil production in eight years.

Total output of crude and natural gas liquids is forecast to fall 0.5 percent to 12.47 million barrels a day next year, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its monthly market report Monday. The decline is being driven by the fall in prices, which has curbed spending, OPEC said. U.S. oil drillers have idled more than half the nation’s rigs since last October, data from oilfield-services company Baker Hughes Inc. shows.

“What happens with shale production next year is highly uncertain,” Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts, said by phone. “Recent reports on drilling and production justify a pessimistic forecast. It’s not surprising that OPEC would take this view.”

The decrease in oil output is forecast to continue this quarter and is concentrated in shale plays. Production is forecast to decline in four out of seven major U.S. shale plays in October, according to EIA data.

Crude oil production in the U.S. “is expected to continue to decline through next August and then begin rising in late 2016,” EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said in an e-mailed statement on Oct. 6.