WASHINGTON - The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Tuesday raised its forecast for OPEC crude oil production next year to 29.44 million barrels per day from its prior estimate of 29.19 million bpd.

Through the forecast period, OPEC surplus production capacity should remain in excess of 4 million bpd, versus an average of 2.8 million bpd seen over the 1998-2008 period, the EIA said in its monthly energy outlook.

The agency also raised its projection for oil output from non-OPEC countries in 2010 to 50.43 million bpd from its previous forecast of 50.26 million bpd.

Over the forecast period, higher output from the former Soviet Union, Brazil and the United States should offset falling production in Mexico and the North Sea, the EIA said.

U.S. oil production this year alone is forecast to average 5.33 million bpd, the first output increase since 1991, the agency said.

(Reporting by Tom Doggett)