The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer by about 2017 and will become a net oil exporter by 2030, according to a new report released on Monday by the International Energy Agency.
There are several components of the sudden shift in the world’s energy supply, but the prime mover is a resurgence of oil and gas production in the United States.
That increased oil production, combined with new American policies to improve energy efficiency, means that the United States will become “all but self-sufficient” in meeting its energy needs in about two decades — a “dramatic reversal of the trend” in most developed countries, the report says.
“The foundations of the global energy systems are shifting,” said Fatih Birol, chief economist at the Paris-based organization, which produces the annual World Energy Outlook, in an interview before the release. The agency, which advises industrialized nations on energy issues, had previously predicted that Saudi Arabia would be the leading producer until 2035.