by Sean Kilcarr, Editor
Imagine for a moment that the U.S. replaces Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. Think about that for a minute. Not only would the U.S. be able to fulfill its own petroleum needs, but it could export tons of the black stuff for top dollar. That vision could become a reality sooner than we think if a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) is anywhere close to accurate.
According to one of the scenarios within the group’s 2012 edition of its annual World Energy Outlook, by around 2020, the U.S. should become the largest global oil producer—overtaking Saudi Arabia.
By 2030, North America as a whole is predicted to become a net oil exporter, thus switching the direction of the international oil trade towards Asia. Indeed, the IEA predicts that almost 90% of Middle Eastern oil exports will be heading to Asia by 2035. The end result is that the U.S., which currently imports around 20% of its total energy needs, will become all but self-sufficient in net terms.
Yet while those regional dynamics change, global energy demand will push ever higher, growing by more than one-third by 2035, with China, India and the Middle East accounting for 60% of the growth.
Just think about that for a minute. No longer will the U.S. be tied strategically to the Middle East.
Gotta like the sound of that.