Shale Gas Boom to Make USA World's Top Oil, Gas Producer

November 12, 2012, Monday // 03:10

The USA is to become the world's top producer of oil and gas around 2020, overtaking Saudi Arabia until the middle of that decade, the International Energy Agency said on Monday.

"The recent rebound in US oil and gas production ... is spurring economic activity ... and steadily changing the role of North America in global energy trade," the agency concluded in its annual World Energy Outlook/

"By around 2020, the United States is projected to become the largest global oil producer ... overtaking Saudi Arabia," the IAE said.

"The result is a continued fall in US oil imports (currently at 20% of its needs) to the extent that North America becomes a net oil exporter around 2030," it added.

IEA experts earlier predicted Saudi Arabia and Russia would be long-term leaders in oil production.

Global oil demand is expected to reach 99.7 mb/d in 2035, up from 87.4 mb/d in 2011, and the average IEA crude oil import price will rise to USD 125/barrel (in year-2011 dollars) in 2035. Global oil demand is expected to peak by 2020, the agency said.

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