U.S. crude production held firm at a pandemic-era high as new forecasts called for rising global demand tied to an expected surge in Chinese travel fuel consumption.

American producers generated 12.3 million b/d for the week ended Feb. 10, on par with the prior week and the high mark of the past nearly three years, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest Weekly Petroleum Status Report showed.

EIA’s latest print, released Wednesday, also easily surpassed the year-earlier level of 11.6 million b/d. It moved closer to the record of 13.1 million b/d set by U.S. exploration and production (E&P) companies in March 2020, as the coronavirus outbreak began to trim demand.  

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