US Leads World in Oil and Gas Production


The International Energy Agency’s latest energy outlook indicates that the United States is taking the lead as the world’s largest oil and gas producer, with China filling the role of world’s biggest oil consumer.

According to the IEA, the U.S.’s ability to access new resources cost-effectively has placed the country’s oil and gas output at 50 percent higher than any other country. The U.S. will also account for an 80 percent increase in the global oil supply by 2025, but oil prices are slated to decline.

Energy Leadership

By the mid-2020s, the U.S. is slated to become the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter, and soon after, the IEA predicts it will become a net exporter of oil. The country will remain a major importer of heavier crudes, but will be an even greater exporter of refined products and light crude.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. became the world’s leading petroleum and natural gas producer in 2012, supplanting Russia. Russia and Saudia Arabia both produced more oil than the U.S. last year, however.

This explosion in activity has prompted major investments in petrochemicals and other, similar industries, while also influencing international trade flows.

Oil Demand

The mid-2020s are slated to see robust growth in oil demand, but shortly after this point, the IEA foresees a marked slowdown with the advent of more efficient passenger vehicles, even though the total number of vehicles on the road will increase to 2 billion by 2040.

What keeps the demand for oil increasing in the 2020 window is the petrochemical production sector, followed by trucks, then aviation and shipping.

With a plateau projected for U.S. tight oil in 2020, along with a fall in non-OPEC production, the market will once again rely on production from the Middle East in the subsequent years, with the need to develop 670 million barrels of new resources by 2040, accounting for the decline in existing oil fields, rather than an increase in demand.

The increasing popularity of electric cars will help keep oil prices lower for longer, noted the IEA.

China’s Changes

With the U.S. slated to become a world leader in the oil and gas sectors, China has been shifting gears in a new phase of energy development. The country now focuses primarily on electricity, natural gas and more efficient technologies.

© /  MariusLtu

According to the IEA, the U.S.’s ability to access new resources cost-effectively has placed the country’s oil and gas output at 50 percent higher than any other country. 

The demand growth from 2000 to 2012 sat at a steady 8 percent per year but has since dropped markedly to 2 percent per year since 2012. Energy efficiency regulation is largely to thank for this, without which the end-use consumption would be 40 percent higher in 2040. Even with these steps taken, China’s energy consumption will exceed that of the European Union.

The IEA’s projects also place the country as the largest oil consumer around 2030, and by 2040, it will be importing 13 million barrels per day.

Despite these numbers, fuel efficiency trends for passenger vehicles—similar to those being seen in the States—mean that China will no longer be the main driving force behind global oil use. That title will be held by India after 2025.

One thng remains certain: China's energy choices will influence global trends.


Tagged categories: Annual report; AS; China; Energy efficiency; Middle East; North America; Oil and Gas; Program/Project Management

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