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Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! U.S. to lead world oil production in next five years

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 12th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

While the United States continues to grapple with energy issues, there's little doubt in global analysts that the U.S. will become the world's biggest oil producer within five short years. In fact, by the year 2020, the U.S. will seemingly overtake both Russia and Saudi Arabia in terms of oil production - with as more than 11 million barrels of crude being produced -- daily.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to a new report from the International Energy Agency, the U.S. will become the world's top producer of oil within five years, a net exporter of the fuel around 2030 and nearly self-sufficient in energy by 2035. Many find these predictions bold, as the U.S. still imports about 20 percent of its energy needs currently.

A domestic "energy renaissance" in the U.S. has caused a boost in oil, shale gas and bio-energy production on account of new technologies such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. In addition, fuel efficiency has improved in the transportation sector. Even the so-called "clean" energy industry has seen an influx of solar and wind efforts.

U.S. oil production is expected to rise to 10 million barrels per day by 2015. After overtaking both Russia and Saudi Arabia in 2020, the U.S. will finally export more oil than it brings into the country in 2030.

Saudi Arabia is expected to produce more, up to 11.4 million barrels per day of oil, outpacing the 10.2 million from the U.S. In 2035, U.S. production will slip to 9.2 million barrels per day, far behind the Middle Eastern nation's 12.3 million. Iraq will exceed Russia to become the world's second largest oil exporter.

Real oil prices at that point will reach $125 a barrel. However -- according to the IEA's World Energy Outlook, the U.S. won't be relying that much on foreign energy,

According to the report, the energy economy globally will undergo a "sea change," with nearly 90 percent of Middle Eastern oil exports redirecting toward Asia.

"No country is an energy 'island,' and the interactions between different fuels, markets and prices are intensifying," says the report.

Fossil fuels, which enjoyed a 30 percent jump in subsidies last year to $523 billion worldwide, will still surpass renewable energy sources, according to IEA. But so-called green power will become the world's second-largest form of generation within three years and will threaten coal's supremacy by 2035.

That progression, however, "hinges critically on continued subsidies" for wind, solar and bio-fuel technologies, which last year amounted to some $88 billion and needs to reach $4.8 trillion through 2035.

"The world is still failing to put the global energy system onto a more sustainable path," according to the report.

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