U.S. crude output rises in February, Texas production eases - EIAU.S. crude output rises in February, Texas production eases - EIA
FILE PHOTO: Natural gas flares are seen at an oil pump site outside of Williston

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. crude oil output rose to 12.83 million barrels per day (bpd) in February from 12.75 million bpd in January, which was revised up by about 2,000 bpd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report on Thursday.

Crude production hit a record high at 12.87 million bpd in November but production growth stalled as independent exploration and production (E&P) companies cut spending on new drilling to meet shareholder demand for better financial returns.

Oil producers across the country have since begun to shut-in wells in response to a plunge in crude prices as the coronavirus pandemic slams global demand and threatens to overwhelm storage capacity across the world.

In Texas, the biggest oil producing state, crude output dropped by about 5,000 bpd to 5.4 million bpd from a monthly record high of 5.41 million bpd in January, the EIA said in its 914 report.

The chairman of Texas’ energy regulator this week came out in opposition to a proposal that would force oil producers in the state to cut production by a combined total of 1 million bpd.

Texas energy regulators next week will vote on the proposed reduction in the state’s oil output after delaying it on concerns of legal challenges.

In the federal offshore Gulf of Mexico, which is the nation’s second-biggest producing region behind Texas, oil output rose 41,000 bpd to a record high of 2.02 million bpd in February.

Monthly gross natural gas production in the U.S. Lower 48 states, meanwhile, slipped for a third month in a row to 105.26 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in February from 105.96 bcfd in January, according to EIA.

That was the first time output has declined for three consecutive months since October 2016. The monthly record high for gas output was 107.04 bcfd in November.

In Texas, the biggest gas producing state, output declined 0.3% to 29.67 bcfd in February from a record 29.76 bcfd in January.

In Pennsylvania, the second-biggest gas-producing state, output rose 1% to 19.86 bcfd in February. The state’s all-time high was 19.92 bcfd in November.

(Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar and Scott DiSavino in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy)