Domestic crude production climbed back to the high mark of the pandemic era as U.S. consumption of petroleum products increased and mounting Chinese demand fueled global growth expectations.

American exploration and production (E&P) firms boosted output by 100,000 b/d to 12.3 million b/d for the week ended March 17, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Weekly Petroleum Status Report on Wednesday.

The print matched the 2023 peak and the production pinnacle since the onset of coronavirus outbreaks in early 2020. E&Ps posted a record 13.1 million b/d of output in March of that year, just prior to public health officials declaring the global pandemic. 

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