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article imageU.S. surpasses Saudi Arabia as world’s top energy producer

By Jordan Howell     Oct 16, 2013 in World
U.S. oil and natural gas production surged past Saudi Arabia in 2013, making the United States the world’s largest oil-producing state.
New York based PIRA Energy Group reports that U.S. oil and natural gas production has increased by 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2009, with total output expected to hit 12.1 million bpd by the end of 2013, marking the fastest expansion of oil production in history second only to Saudi Arabia’s oil boom in the early 1970s.
The United States is producing roughly 300,000 bpd more than Saudi Arabia and 1.6 million bpd more than Russia, which the United States surpassed earlier this year.
“U.S. total supply growth in 2013,” writes PIRA, “is greater than the sum of the growth of the next nine fastest growing countries combined and has covered most of the world's net demand growth over the past two years.”
Much of the increased demand for oil is coming from Southeast Asia, which is expected to import more than 25 million bpd by 2035, or roughly the output of the entire Middle East according to the Economic Times.
“The U.S. position as the largest oil supplier in the world looks to be secure for many years,” according to PIRA. “Although growth rates of U.S. shale liquids are expected to become smaller in the future, PIRA's forecast sees the U.S. increasing the lead over the next two largest countries until after 2020 and retaining the lead to at least through 2030.”
This marks a dramatic turnaround for the United States, going from the world’s top energy consumer to top producer in only four years. The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that the United States will halve its oil imports by 2020. Expansion of domestic energy production and increased efficiency has cut U.S. dependence on foreign oil, leaving China as the world’s top importer of foreign oil.
The energy boom is primarily due to increased output from shale formations. Much of this oil was unrecoverable 10 years ago, but advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have opened new regions to oil and natural gas exploration.
While the United States now leads in natural gas production, Saudi Arabia and Russia each continues to produce about 3 million bpd more crude oil than the United States. The next four largest oil producers are China, Canada, UAE, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Mexico.
More about Oil, Natural gas, Oil production, Opec, Saudi arabia
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