Oil imports to the US could fall to zero by 2037 as a result of increased production, according to a new report.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reveals US production of oil has risen “dramatically” in the past few years, from less than one million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) in 2010 to more than three MMbbl/d in the second half of last year.
Its Annual Energy Outlook 2014 looks at different trends in production. In the ‘Reference’ case, crude oil production rises from 6.5MMbbl/d in 2012 to 9.6MMbbl/d before 2020 – a level not seen since 1970. This will increase the share of national oil production from 35% in 2012 to 50% in 2019.
In the ‘High Oil and Gas’ scenario, crude oil production reaches 11.3MMbbl/d in 2019 and reaches 13.3MMbbl/d in the mid-2030s.
Under the Reference case, the import of US petroleum and other liquid fuels falls to around 25% during the last half of the current decade before rising again to 32% by 2040. In comparison however, the High Oil and Gas Resource case projects net US oil imports will continue to decline through the mid-2030s and remain at or near zero from 2037 through 2040.
The EIA said tight oil – or shale oil – should account for more than 60% of all US oil production by 2035 but warned production from tight oil is still in its infancy.
“In EIA’s view, there is more upside potential for greater gains in production than downside potential for lower production levels”, the report said.