U.S. Will Be World’s Top Oil Producer In 5 Years

Red Rock Derricks, all flowing Well, by W. L. SuttonThat might sound like good news, but in reality “it’s complicated”…. Elisabeth Rosenthal reports for the New York Times:

The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer by about 2017 and will become a net oil exporter by 2030, the International Energy Agency said Monday.

That increased oil production, combined with new American policies to improve energy efficiency, means that the United States will become “all but self-sufficient” in meeting its energy needs in about two decades — a “dramatic reversal of the trend” in most developed countries, a new report released by the agency says.

“The foundations of the global energy systems are shifting,” Fatih Birol, chief economist at the Paris-based organization, which produces the annual World Energy Outlook, said in an interview before the release. The agency, which advises industrialized nations on energy issues, had previously predicted that Saudi Arabia would be the leading producer until 2035.

The report also predicted that global energy demand would grow between 35 and 46 percent from 2010 to 2035, depending on whether policies that have been proposed are put in place. Most of that growth will come from China, India and the Middle East, where the consuming class is growing rapidly. The consequences are “potentially far-reaching” for global energy markets and trade, the report said.

Dr. Birol noted, for example, that Middle Eastern oil once bound for the United States would probably be rerouted to China. American-mined coal, facing declining demand in its home market, is already heading to Europe and China instead.

There are several components of the sudden shift in the world’s energy supply, but the prime mover is a resurgence of oil and gas production in the United States, particularly the unlocking of new reserves of oil and gas found in shale rock. The widespread adoption of techniques like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has made those reserves much more accessible, and in the case of natural gas, resulted in a vast glut that has sent prices plunging.

The report predicted that the United States would overtake Russia as the leading producer of natural gas in 2015…

[continues in the New York Times]

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  • Etherspark

    Would this still be the case if the United States didn’t invade Irak?

    • Liam_McGonagle

      That’s a lot of speculation, but my guess is “yes”. Years of international sanctions left their infrastructure hanging by a thread. They didn’t really have capacity to expand production as much as they would have liked.

      That’s not to say that the U.S. didn’t make things incredibly worse, and I don’t want to minimize the incredible achievement of the Iraqis in keeping their production at that modest level under such trying circumstances, but by all accounts the U.S.’s oil and gas deposits stand a good chance of outdistancing even those of Saudi Arabia, who certainly aren’t laboring under the type of difficulties that the Iraqis had been.

      Of course, a lot of that expansion in U.S. production is attributable to controversial extraction methods, like fracking, which is polluting the nation’s water supplies and causing serious geological instability.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Largely bullshit based on unrealistic extrapolation. http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2012/11/hook-line-and-sinker.html

    • emperorreagan

      They also attribute 45% to a gain in efficiency in the US energy use, which they mostly claim will come from increased car efficiency.

      I see little reason to believe that automakers will reach a 54.5 mpg fleet efficiency without taking advantage of a ton of loopholes or being granted exceptions by future administrations.

      I also see little reason to believe that the numbers will be little more than inflated EPA numbers – where cars like the Prius perform ~30% off their EPA numbers when tested in real world studies. You can game the EPA system with elaborate drive trains and charge a ton more for the car, but it will only perform marginally better than a standard drive train on an efficiency basis during normal driving.

  • Andrew

    Yay! It’ll be just like living in Nigeria!

    • Calypso_1

      Excellent! More goat meat.

  • blueskybigstar

    There are absolutely huge sums of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Some people think that the BP oil disaster was done on purpose so they could spray Corexit all around that would depopulate the area and allow them to pump and pollute as much as they want. Some also think that it helped to stop the Gulf Stream and was meant to put socialist Europe in a deep freeze.

  • Joseph

    We don’t need oil for our energy needs. Probably haven’t needed it for decades. The whole energy game is just that, a game. Exploit one nation and use the profits for neocon agendas in another. We’re all suckers that fall for this scam. There has been a plethora of scientific breakthroughs throughout the years and any one of them, if mass produced, would solve our energy problems. Don’t fall for this bullshit and don’t let them fool you into thinking oil will save us.

  • Raz

    And in 100 years they will be the only one to use focil fuel at all!

  • lucifershal0

    :) It’s about time we get off of the middle east bullshit. Maybe the middle-east can finally get the finger from the US. We have waaaaaaaaay more oil here and can sustain ourselves without dependence from foreigners. As far as the treehuggers on here, I have no use or need for a retarded looking egg on wheels like a Prius or any of those “Hybrid” vehicles. I’m not big on this new progressive style of life. I prefer the smell of an old car spilling out old exhaust. Then again they don’t make quality cars like they used to. I don’t have a problem paying the 3.08 per gallon we have here right now and I’m actually planning on getting a bigger truck that runs on diesel. Why!? Because I like having power and if I want to later on I can convert the motor to run on vegetable oil and get similar performance. The more you believe conspiracies the more you lose touch with reality. I hate the large corporations as much as you do, but the bottom line is you on a daily basis are feeding into the big corporations just like everyone else. You can’t tell me that everyone on the planet needs to not drive cars or buy gas, and ride a bike or use public transportation. For one most public transportation is run by the government/city. I fucking hate government to begin with especially for public issues. 2, alot of people are not city dwellers and have no way of getting public transportation. There is no point in fighting these global dominators as they are in control. All these “progressive thinkers” have this genius idea that they can “solve” the energy crisis. Well tell ya what pal what is that going to do to all the people employed at the car manufacturers and big oil companies? Lose jobs, and thousands of them. What are we supposed to do about that? Oh wait, the same people who are “progressive thinkers” believe the government will pay for everyone who doesn’t want to work and rely on the taxpayers to make their precious worlds keep goin. The article is nice and actually put a smile on my face, as I saw something similar yesterday as everyone should be excited because this is a great opportunity to CREATE JOBS in America.

    • Anarchy Pony

      You are an ignorant cretin, the article is bullshit, and you are apparently incapable of looking at the big picture.

      “There is no point in fighting these global dominators as they are in control”

      “The more you believe conspiracies the more you lose touch with reality.”

      Doublethink much?

      Go play on big government or something.

      • lucifershal0

        Doing it everyday as you are. Unless you’re one of the 99%er’s who have no idea on how to actually goto work like a normal human being. You call me a cretin yet I’m pretty sure my life is a hell of a lot more stable than yours is. Whats wrong with double thinking? I usually do think twice about alot of things especially when I’m working on a multi-million dollar home and don’t want to flood their house because I didn’t think about what I was doing. Or installing natural gas lines to a commercial building. Yeah I tend to side with thinking twice about things. All I’m saying is that the article was pretty accurate the way I read it and was glad they actually posted some legit shit on here for once. What’s the big picture? The earth is going to die in our lifetime? Bring some factual points and your opinion, other than just bashing something or someone you dont agree with and hate. And I’ve always looked at any issue from 3 perspectives. Lemme ask you this. What would you do to fix the energy crisis? What are your opinions or views on renewable energy and using less fossil fuels?

  • Hadrian999

    assuming this is all true it will not return america to the glory days of cheap gas, the oil men will be selling it at world market rates they will just be giving kickbacks to american politicians instead of sheikhs.

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