U.S. to become world's top oil producer by 2020
The U.S. will become the world's top producer of oil within five years, a net exporter of the fuel around 2030 and nearly self-sufficient in energy by 2035, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.
It's a bold set of predictions for a nation that now imports some 20 percent of its energy.
Recently, however, an "energy renaissance" in the U.S. has caused a boost in oil, shale gas and bio-energy production due to new technologies such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Fuel efficiency has improved in the transportation sector. The clean energy industry has seen an influx of solar and wind efforts.
By 2015, U.S. oil production is expected to rise to 10 million barrels per day before increasing to 11.1 million barrels per day by 2020, overtaking second-place Russia and front-runner Saudi Arabia. The U.S. will export more oil than it brings into the country in 2030.
Around the same time, however, Saudi Arabia will be producing some 11.4 million barrels per day of oil, outpacing the 10.2 million from the U.S. In 2035, U.S. production will slip to 9.2 million barrels per day, far behind the Middle Eastern nation's 12.3 million barrels per day. Iraq will exceed Russia to become the world's second-largest oil exporter.
At that point, real oil prices will reach $125 a barrel. By then, however, the U.S. won't be relying much on foreign energy, according to the IEA's World Energy Outlook.
Globally, the energy economy will undergo a "sea change," according to the report, with nearly 90 percent of Middle Eastern oil exports redirecting toward Asia.
"No country is an energy 'island,' and the interactions between different fuels, markets and prices are intensifying," according to the report.
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