Crude oil production in the U.S.' Gulf of Mexico (GOM) region set an annual record high level last year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday.
Production of crude oil in the region reached 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2016, the EIA said.
The level of crude output in the Gulf last year was 44,000 bpd higher than the previous production record that was set in 2009, it added.
"In 2016, eight projects came online in the GOM, contributing to the high production levels," the EIA noted.
In addition, crude oil production in the GOM increased for four months in a row to reach 1.7 million bpd in January, the EIA said.
The administration expects crude output from the region to continue increasing this year and throughout 2018.
"Another seven projects are anticipated to come online by the end of 2018. Based on anticipated production levels at these new fields and existing fields, annual crude oil production in the GOM is expected to increase to an average of 1.7 million bpd in 2017 and 1.9 million bpd in 2018," it added.
The EIA, however, warned that uncertainties in the oil market, such as changes in crude prices, may negatively impact long-term planning and operations in the GOM, which would also affect the timing of future projects in the region as well.
By Ovunc Kutlu in New York