Oil prices go up as U.S. production increases



Oil prices dropped Wednesday as U. S. crude production rose last week.

U.S. crude production added 5,000 barrels to 9.374 million barrels a day last week, according to a weekly report of Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistics arm of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Crude supplies of last week decreased 2.2 million barrels to 484.8 million, 86.3 million barrels more than a year earlier. Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for the U.S. contract, lost 1 million barrels to 60.68 million barrels.

Total U.S. crude oil production averaged an estimated 9.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in March, but it is expected to decline from June through September before growth resumes, EIA said in its energy outlook Wednesday.

EIA projected total crude oil production averages 9.2 million b/ d in both this year and the next, 40,000 b/d and 100,000 b/d lower than in last month's forecast, respectively.

EIA forecast that Brent crude oil prices will average 61 dollars in 2015 and 70 dollars in 2016. Average U.S. crude prices in 2015 and 2016 are expected to be six dollars and five dollars below Brent, respectively.

Light, sweet crude for June delivery lost 25 cents to settle at 60.5 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for June delivery moved down five cents to close at 66.81 dollars a barrel.