(Bloomberg) -- US oil production is set to decline about 1 million barrels per day by the second half of 2025 unless rig counts rise, a key energy investor said. 

More rigs will be needed to offset declining productivity from existing wells, said Adam Rich, deputy chief investment officer at Vaughan Nelson, a Houston-based investment manager.

“We could probably keep the 12-13 million barrel-per-day level for six to nine more months, but if we don’t see rig counts really start moving up here, that’s going to be a big problem,” he said in an interview.

Vaughan Nelson manages a total of $16.4 billion in assets and is a boutique affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers. 

A shale boom has propelled the US to produce more crude oil than any other country ever, but growth is expected to slow. The most productive acreage has been drilled, and many US producers are now pledging moderate growth and prioritizing shareholder returns instead. The number of active US rigs has fallen to the lowest level since January 2022 amid a wave of consolidation in the industry. 

Rich said oil prices would need to be closer to $90 per barrel to push rig counts back up. US crude oil futures were trading around $77 per barrel Monday. 

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