US to overtake Saudi Arabia as world’s top oil producer: IEA

The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil producer by 2017, the West’s energy agency said on Monday as a steep rise in shale oil and gas production pushes the country toward self-sufficiency in energy.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), which advises major industrialized nations on energy policies, gave the estimates in an annual long-term report. Its conclusions were in sharp contrast with its 2011 report, which saw Saudi Arabia remaining the top producer throughout 2035.

“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.

“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 IEA said it saw a continued fall in U.S. oil imports with North America becoming a net oil exporter by around 2030.

IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol told a news conference in London he believed the United States would overtake Russia as the biggest gas producer by a significant margin by 2015. Shortly after that, by 2017, the United States would become the largest oil producer, he said.

CNBC

  • mmckinl

    There is no way that the US will become the top oil producer. The hydro carbons being developed now are poor in energy, hard to get to, smaller in scale and the wells deplete in the matter of just a very few years …

    The deposits, as always, are being developed using the “sweet spots” first leaving poorer and poorer quality resources for the future. It will take more and more money and more wells just to maintain production.

    As we have seen in just the last few years this higher cost oil pushes through higher costs for food and the economy, in general causing stagnation then contraction.

    Believe these reports of ever more oil at your own peril. The fact is that all the major deposits of conventional oil have been discovered and are “mature”, close to depletion overtaking new production. The US reached conventional”peak oil” in 1971 and has never regained that level.

  • mmckinl

    There is no way that the US will become the top oil producer. The hydro carbons being developed now are poor in energy, hard to get to, smaller in scale and the wells deplete in the matter of just a very few years …

    The deposits, as always, are being developed using the “sweet spots” first leaving poorer and poorer quality resources for the future. It will take more and more money and more wells just to maintain production.

    As we have seen in just the last few years this higher cost oil pushes through higher costs for food and the economy, in general causing stagnation then contraction.

    Believe these reports of ever more oil at your own peril. The fact is that all the major deposits of conventional oil have been discovered and are “mature”, close to depletion overtaking new production. The US reached conventional”peak oil” in 1971 and has never regained that level.