The US might soon become the biggest oil producer in the world, surpassing Saudi Arabia.
Thanks to new drilling methods and high prices, the US production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is expected to increase 7% by the end of this year to an average 10.9 million barrels daily. This would be the fourth straight year of US crude increase.
“Five years ago, if I or anyone had predicted today’s production growth, people would have thought we were crazy,” says Jim Burkhard, head of oil markets research at IHS CERA, an energy consulting firm.
The U.S. Energy Department predicts that in 2013 the US production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons will reach an average of 11.4 million barrels daily, a record for the country and slightly under Saudi Arabia’s output of 11.6 barrels per day. US hasn’t been the world’s largest producer since 2002, when the Saudis was forced to cu production due to low oil prices after the 9/11 disaster.
Still, the US need to import lots of oil in the following years, as the country uses about 18.7 million barrels daily. The improving fuel efficiency of the US cars and the increase in domestic production, might help the nation reduce imports by half by the end of 2020.