(Adds details on U.S. stockpiles, comments)
By Jessica Resnick-Ault
NEW YORK, Feb 7 (Reuters) - U.S. crude output will rise 100,000 barrels per day to 8.98 million barrels in 2017, 0.3 percent less than previously forecast, due to slower offshore growth in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, according to a monthly U.S. government report released on Tuesday.
U.S. shale producers have reacted quickly and increased drilling to take advantage of the rise in crude prices since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) began cutting output in an agreement that took effect on Jan. 1.
U.S. output will be closely watched as a quick rise in supply could prevent the OPEC cut from reducing worldwide oil inventories and dampen the impact of the producer group’s first supply cut in eight years.
The Energy Information Administration changed assumptions of well decline rates and the pace at which some projects in the Gulf of Mexico will ramp up, said EIA analyst Timothy Hess.
The EIA raised its onshore output forecast and lowered its offshore forecast, he said.
This monthly short-term energy outlook comes as other agencies, such as the International Energy Agency, have been expecting crude output from the United States to grow substantially this year, rising from 12.52 million barrels a day to 12.84 million barrels.
However, that model includes crude and other oil liquids, such as condensate. Including these fuels, the U.S. government model is more closely aligned with the IEA. With condensates in the mix, the EIA sees U.S. supply at 12.73 million barrels a day, up 360,000 barrels from 2016.
“Global oil supply and demand is now expected to be largely in balance during 2017 as the gradual increase in world oil inventories that has occurred over the last few years comes to an end,” said Howard Gruenspecht, acting administrator of the EIA, the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy.
The agency expects U.S. crude production growth will surge in 2018, rising 550,000 barrels a day. (Reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Lisa Shumaker)