News / USA

US Soon to Overtake Russia as Top Oil Producer

Pump jacks are seen in the Midway Sunset oilfield, California, April 29, 2013.
Pump jacks are seen in the Midway Sunset oilfield, California, April 29, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— The United States will become the world's largest oil producer next year - overtaking Russia - thanks to its shale oil boom which has transformed the global energy landscape, the West's energy watchdog said on Friday.

The prediction comes only days after estimates by the U.S. government showed the United States, the world's largest oil consumer, has ceded its ranking as top global oil importer to China, thanks to the shale revolution cutting import needs.

“The United States' place in the driver's seat of growth is also a throwback to decades past,” the International Energy Agency said in its monthly report.

The U.S. resurgence as an oil producer is already reshuffling the cards in the game of world energy diplomacy, playing it a new hand in relations with long-term ally and top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia.

Major producers such as Russia are now forced to invest billions of dollars into new pipelines towards Asia as they can no longer rely on demand from the West, and have to deal with increasingly assertive Beijing.

“With output of more than 10 million barrels per day for the last two quarters, its highest in decades, the nation is set to become the largest non-OPEC liquids producer by the second quarter of 2014, overtaking Russia. And that's not even counting biofuels and refinery gains,” the IEA said.

The agency, the Paris-based energy arm of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated that U.S. liquids production will average 11 million bpd in 2014 versus 10.86 million in Russia.

The spike in U.S. production will allow total non-OPEC supply to grow by an average of 1.7 million barrels per day in 2014, peaking at 1.9 million in the second quarter, the highest annual growth since the 1970s, the IEA said.

That robust growth will compensate for disruptions to Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' production and provides a cushion for oil prices, which otherwise could have spiked much higher than the current $110 a barrel.

OPEC crude supplies slipped to below 30 million bpd for the first time in almost two years, led by steep drops in Libyan and Iraqi exports due to unrest and terminal repairs, and despite Saudi Arabian output topping 10 million bpd for a third month running.

The IEA said that growth in non-OPEC production was so strong that it further reduced its estimates for demand for OPEC crude next year by an average of 100,000 bpd to 29 million bpd - effectively 1 million bpd below current pumping levels.

European surprise

The IEA left its global oil demand growth forecast for 2014 broadly unchanged at 1.1 million bpd, an increase of 1.2 percent, saying the macroeconomic backdrop was improving.

“European demand data have surprised on the upside recently amid reports that the euro zone's recession ended in the second quarter of 2013 and signs of improvement in business confidence,” it said.

But it added that it saw significant downside risks due to the budget standoff in the United States and currency depreciation in many emerging market economies.

The IEA also said few observers expected sanctions on Iran's oil and finance sector to be eased anytime soon, despite a friendlier rhetoric from Tehran.

“Rather, most expect that turning the clock back on sanctions will be a drawn-out process based on tangible diplomatic progress with regard to the issues at hand, which many still view as a remote prospect,” it added.

The IEA estimated Iran's crude oil production had declined by 100,000 in September to 2.58 million bpd. Oil imports from Iran rebounded by 180,000 to 1.17 million thanks to higher purchases from China and India.

It said preliminary data indicated China lifted imports from Iran to a four-month high of 555,000 bpd, India increased them to 265,000 bpd, highest since January 2013, and Pakistan imported first oil from Iran since January 2011.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid