The United States will become the world's
largest oil producer by around 2020, temporarily overtaking Saudi
Arabia, as new exploration technologies help find more resources, the
International Energy Agency forecast on Monday.
its World Energy Outlook, the energy watchdog also predicted that
greater oil and natural gas production — thanks partly to a boom in
shale gas output — as well as more efficient use of energy will allow
the U.S., which now imports around 20 percent of its energy needs, to
become nearly self-sufficient around 2035.
is "a dramatic reversal of the trend seen in most other
energy-importing countries," the Paris-based IEA said in its report.
"Energy developments in the United States are profound and their effect
will be felt well beyond North America — and the energy sector."
Rebounding U.S. oil and gas production is "steadily changing the role of North America in global energy trade," the IEA said.
example, oil exports out of the Mideast will increasingly go to Asia as
the U.S. becomes more self-sufficient. That will increase the global
focus on the security of strategic routes that bring Middle East oil to
Asian markets. Tensions between Iran and Western powers have raised
concerns that oil exports from the Persian Gulf could be blocked in a
potential conflict over Tehran's alleged plan to develop nuclear
The IEA added that global trends in
the energy markets will be influenced by some countries' retreat from
nuclear power, the fast spread of wind and solar technologies and a rise
in unconventional gas production.
concluded that despite the rising use of low carbon energy sources,
huge subsidies will keep fossil fuels "dominant in the global energy
"Taking all new developments and
policies into account, the world is still failing to put the global
energy system onto a more sustainable path," the IEA said.
energy needs are forecast to increase by a third by 2035, with 60
percent of the additional demand coming from China, India and the Middle