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US to become world’s top oil and gas producer – IEA

12th November 2012

IEA says the US will overtake Russia as the biggest gas producer and become the world's largest oil producer by the end of the decade

US to become world’s top oil and gas producer – IEA
The US currently imports around 20 per cent of its energy needs

US oil output will overtake that of Saudi Arabia by 2017, making the country practically self-sufficient and on its way to becoming a net exporter, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Monday.

The United States will overtake Russia as the biggest gas producer by a significant margin by 2015 and the world's largest oil producer by 2017, IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol was quoted by Reuters as saying. The US currently imports around 20 per cent of its energy needs.

Technological advancements in the extraction of unconventional crude such as hydraulic fracturing are spurring the country’s potential, the IEA said today in its annual World Energy Outlook report. The IEA gives advice on energy policy to large industrialised nations.

"The recent rebound in US 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," the report said.

The IEA also said it expected a continued drop in US oil imports, with the country becoming a net oil exporter by around 2030 and reaching near self-sufficiency in energy by 2035.

Gareth Lewis-Davies, an analyst at BNP Paribas SA in London  commented on the report: “The IEA outlook feeds into the idea of a shift in the center of influence in the world oil market. Given Saudi Arabia is willing to shift production up and down it will retain a large degree of influence, and remain important as a price-influencer.”

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