The U.S. is on a solid trajectory to retain the title of the world's largest oil producer well into next year's presidential election season, the Energy Department said on Thursday.
The U.S. became the largest oil producer in the world last year, a fact that President Trump has touted, including in his State of the Union address earlier this month.
The U.S. will not only maintain its lead spot as top producer, but will greatly exceed what it produced last year in both 2019 and 2020, the Energy Information Administration said Thursday in its weekly oil analysis.
Oil production will average 12.4 million barrels per day in 2019 and 13.2 million barrels per day in 2020, according to the agency, up from 11 million in 2018.
The gains in oil production will come primarily from the oil drilling taking place in the Permian shale region of Texas and New Mexico, according to the agency. But significant offshore oil production is also expected to come online in the Gulf of Mexico.
The agency's analysis accounts for 19 new offshore drilling projects to begin operations in 2019 and 2020.
EIA expects production in the Gulf to average 2.0 million barrels per day in 2019, exceeding the record high last year of about 1.8 million barrels per day.
Gulf oil production is projected to increase to an average of 2.3 million barrels per day in 2020.