In simple terms, the EIA counts production, exports, imports, change in storage and refinery usage. This should pick up every barrel of oil moving through the U.S. It must frustrate the EIA’s number crunchers that the figures never foot, so they use a balancing item which used to be called “Unaccounted for Crude Oil”, nowadays simply the Adjustment. Since June 2018, the Adjustment has almost tripled.
Undercounting crude oil production seems the most likely explanation. If so, this would reinforce a couple of important themes:
1) The U.S. continues to gain market share in world energy markets
2) Growing volumes even with moderate pricing defy those who argue that much of our shale activity is unprofitable
Oil and gas production continue to surprise to the upside, which can only be good for midstream energy infrastructure.