US to become world's top oil producer by 2017
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US to become world's top oil producer by 2017

George : WA : USA | Nov 12, 2012 at 12:39 PM PST
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Chief of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Maria van der Hoeven, pictured at the IEA headquarters in Paris, in 2011

The United States will become the world’s top oil producer by 2017, according to the annual long-term report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The US will surpass both Saudi Arabia and Russia, and will come close to achieving self-sufficiency in power production by 2035.

The West's energy agency, IEA, said Monday in its annual report that the United States will become almost self-sufficient in energy, a concept which was previously unimaginable. The forecast was in contrast to the agency’s previous reports, which claimed Saudi Arabia to remain the biggest oil producer in the world until 2035.

The IEA, which counsels industrialized nations on energy policy, reported that there had been a continued fall in import of oil in the country, predicting that North America will turn into a net oil exporter by 2030.

The report stated: “The United States, which currently imports around 20 percent of its total energy needs, becomes all but self-sufficient in net terms—a dramatic reversal of the trend seen in most other energy importing countries.

“Energy developments in the United States are profound and their effect will be felt well beyond North America—and the energy sector. 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,” it added.

The report presented one of the most positive forecasts for US energy production growth so far.

Speaking at a news conference in London, IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol said he believed the United States would overtake Russia as the biggest gas producer by 2015 and would most likely become the world's largest oil producer a couple of years later.

The IEA further stated that the United States will utilize natural gas rather than either oil or coal by 2035 as cheap domestic supply will boosts demand among industry and power generators. The report predicted oil production in the US to rise to 10 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2015 and 11.1 million bpd in 2020 before falling to 9.2 million bpd by 2035.

As for Saudi Arabia, the IEA said its oil output would be 10.9 million bpd by 2015, 10.6 million bpd in 2020 but would go up to 12.3 million bpd by 2035.

“Russia, which remains the largest individual energy exporter throughout the period, sees its revenues from oil, natural gas and coal exports rise from $380 billion in 2011 to $410 billion in 2035,” the IEA said.

The agency said Russian oil output will most likely stay flat at over 10 million bpd until 2020, but will decline to reach just above 9 million bpd by 2035.

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In the United States the IEA said "demand continues to fall relative to a very weak baseline"
In the United States the IEA said "demand continues to fall relative to a very weak baseline"
Michelle Lincaster is based in Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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