Could US overtake Saudi Arabia as world’s top oil exporter?

The country saw a ‘spectacular growth’ of 2.2m barrels per day last year

The US will start exporting more oil than Russia and could potentially overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s top exporter in the next five years.

The forecast from the International Energy Agency (IEA) comes after a “spectacular growth” of 2.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) of oil in the US last year.

The shale gas industry in the US is to drive global oil supply growth, accounting for 70% of the total increase in capacity to 2024, adding a total of four million barrels per day.

Image: IEA

Despite global oil demand set to ease, in particular as China slows down, it is still forecast to increase at an annual average rate of 1.2mb/d over the next five years.

However, the IEA sees no peak in oil demand, as petrochemicals and jet fuel remain the key drivers of growth, particularly in the US and Asia, “more than offsetting a slowdown in gasoline due to efficiency gains and electric vehicles” (EVs).

Dr Fatih Birol, IEA’s Executive Director said: “The second wave of the US shale revolution is coming. It will see the US account for 70% of the rise in global oil production and some 75% of the expansion in LNG trade over the next five years. This will shake up international oil and gas trade flows, with profound implications for the geopolitics of energy.”

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