(Adds EIA comments and storm Harvey effects)
NEW YORK, Sept 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Tuesday revised both its 2017 and 2018 oil production forecast figures lower to reflect, in part, the effects of Hurricane Harvey.
The statistical arm of the Department of Energy lowered its growth forecast to 400,000 barrels per day to 9.25 million bpd. Last month, it expected a 500,000-bpd increase to 9.35 million bpd.
According to the EIA’s monthly short-term energy outlook, U.S. crude oil production in 2018 will rise by more than previously expected, although the total output figure was lowered due to the revision for 2017.
The agency forecast 2018 crude oil output will rise by 590,000 bpd to 9.84 million bpd. Last month, it expected a 560,000 bpd year-over-year increase to 9.91 million bpd.
Hurricane Harvey, which raged through Texas and parts of Louisiana late in August, forced the shutdown of a number of refineries, pipelines and offshore platforms around two weeks ago and shut about a quarter of U.S. refining capacity.
“Industry watchers across the sector will have to grapple with uncertainty regarding the timeline for the return to normal operations for critical energy infrastructure, including refineries, in the coming weeks and months,” EIA Acting Administrator John Conti said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the agency forecast that U.S. oil demand for 2017 is set to grow by 350,000 bpd compared with 340,000 bpd previously. For 2018, oil demand is expected to rise by 400,000 bpd versus 330,000 bpd previously. (Reporting by Catherine Ngai; Editing by Marguerita Choy)