IEA Predicts the U.S. Will Be the World’s Largest Oil Producer by 2015
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IEA Predicts the U.S. Will Be the World’s Largest Oil Producer by 2015

IEA Predicts the U.S. Will Be the World’s Largest Oil Producer by 2015
Logo of International Energy Agency

Logo of International Energy Agency (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coal, EIA, electricity, Energy, natural gas, Nuclear, oil, Renewable

By Institute for Energy Research

November 18, 2013

The International Energy Agency (IEA) just released it World Energy Outlook 2013 and moves up the date by which the United States will become the world’s largest oil producer.  In last year’s Outlook, the agency predicted the United States to be the number one oil producer by 2017, but it now predicts we will achieve that ranking two years earlier, in 2015, and we will then be producing 11 million barrels per day. The shale oil renaissance enabled by hydraulic fracturing coupled with directional drilling technology is the reason that the United States can reclaim that position from the current oil production leaders–Russia and Saudi Arabia. The United States remains the world’s largest oil producer for much of the IEA forecast period to 2035. Improved energy efficiency and a boom in unconventional oil and gas production enable the United States to meet almost all of its energy needs from domestic resources by 2035. Also, IEA points out that in 2035, fossil fuels still remain the major fuels on which the world relies, supplying 76 percent of primary energy demand in 2035.

Oil Supply and Demand

Over the next decade, increasing oil production in North America and Brazil reduces the need for OPEC oil due to technological advancement. According to the IEA, technology is opening up new types of resources, such as tight oil and ultra-deepwater offshore fields that were considered too difficult and expensive to access until recently. Through this decade, the oil boom in North and South America threatens revenues for OPEC’s members, whose production is at its lowest in two years, but OPEC will resume its major position towards the end of IEA’s forecast period as it remains the only major source of relatively low cost oil. IEA expects oil production in the United States to peak at almost 12 million barrels per day in 2025 and plateau thereafter. Despite new resources opening up, national oil companies and their host governments still control 80 percent of the world’s proven-plus-probable oil reserves.

Demand for oil increases by 14 million barrels per day (16 percent) between 2011 and 2035, but growth slows from an average of 1 million barrels per day per year until 2020 to about 400 thousand barrels per day thereafter, as high prices encourage efficiency and fuel switching, and countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) continue to reduce oil consumption. Of the 101 million barrels per day oil demand in 2035(i), 65 million barrels per day is conventional oil; the rest is unconventional.

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