"Total US crude oil production in 2015 will reach its highest level since 1972, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicted in its recent Short-Term Energy Outlook, reported by Oil & Gas Journal. Oil production, which averaged 7.4 million barrels/day in 2013, is expected to average 8.4 million barrels/day in 2014 and 9.3 million barrels/day in 2015. Additionally, EIA estimates that U.S. total crude production during May averaged nearly 8.4 million barrels/day—the highest monthly average production since March 1988. “With the Atlantic hurricane season commencing June 1, EIA believes production will be minimally disrupted, relying on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s prediction that the Atlantic Basin will likely experience near normal or below-normal tropical weather through Nov. 30,” the article states. While oil production is trending upwards, the nation’s natural gas inventory is lagging, as producers try to rebuild supplies after a colder than normal winter. Natural gas working inventories on May 30 totaled 1,500 billion cubic feet, 740 billion cubic feet below the level at the same time a year ago and 900 billion cubic feet below the previous 5-year average during 2009-13. EIA expects spot gas prices to increase by 27 percent this year."