U.S. Set to Become World’s Largest Oil Producer by 2017
A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), a group made up of 28 nations, says that the United States will surpass fossil fuel giants Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer by the year 2017.
The United States is closer than many think to true energy self-sufficiency, says the annual long-term report, contrasting sharply with previous IEA numbers that suggested that Saudi Arabia would remain the world’s top oil producer until at least 2035. (Read more: Hofmeister: Surging Demand and Flat Production Equals High Oil Prices)
Thanks to an increased focus on renewable energy and increased oil exploration off the shores of Alaska, the U.S. could be able to cease all energy-related imports by 2025, eliminating their dependence on foreign oil and setting the stage for potential future exports.
“Energy developments in the United States are profound and their effect will be felt well beyond North America – and the energy sector,” the IEA said in the report. “The recent rebound in U.S. oil and gas production, driven by upstream technologies that are unlocking light tight oil and shale gas resources, is spurring economic activity – with less expensive gas and electricity prices giving industry a competitive edge.”
With about 20 percent of its total energy needs currently sated by imports, the United States would become one of the few energy importing countries to achieve self-sufficiency, a break in the trend seen in most comparable nations. (Read more: Alberta Oil Sands Expected to Draw $364 Billion in New Investment)
The report goes on to detail the predicted developments in U.S. energy use, including the expected reversal of dependence on coal and oil in favor of natural gas by 2035, a situation that would make it much easier for one of the world’s biggest energy consumers to meet environmental expectations set down by the international community.