US Can Become World’s Biggest Oil Producer in a Decade, Says IEA

The US could become self-sufficient, while 90% of Middle Eastern oil could go to China, according to new estimates.

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The US will shed its long-standing dependence on Saudi Arabian oil within the next decade, redrawing the world’s political systems, heralding a new era of geopolitics – and potentially leading to runaway global warming.

In a report released on Monday, the world’s foremost energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency (IEA), said the US will benefit from so-called unconventional sources of oil and gas, including shale gas and shale oil, derived from blasting dense rocks apart to release the fossil fuels trapped within.

These sources could fuel the US’s energy independence, and make the country the world’s biggest oil producer by 2017. But if pursued with vigour, they would also lead to huge increases in greenhouse gas emissions that would put hopes of curbing dangerous climate change beyond reach.

If this happens, more than 90% of oil and gas from the Middle East could be sold to Asia, and chiefly to rapidly developing countries such as China, within the same timeframe, the IEA has predicted.

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