16 October 2013 – The US has passed up Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s top producer of oil and other liquid energy sources thanks to a booming shale sector and diverse output, according to a new study.
The New York-based PIRA Energy Group says the US is now producing about 12.1 million barrels per day of liquids, a figure that includes biofuels. The total is 300,000 bpd more than Saudi Arabia and 1.6 million more than Russia in comparable output.
The US total includes 7.4 million bpd of crude oil and condensate, 2.5 bpd of natural gas liquids, 1 million bpd of biofuels and 1.3 million bpd of “refinery gain”, a measure of “sophisticated high conversion capabilities”, according to PIRA’s analysis.
The International Energy Agency last week predicted a similar trend to take hold by next year as Opec output is hit by outages in Libya and Iraq.
Saudi Arabia and Russia remain about 3 million bpd ahead of the US in crude production.
Shale crude and condensate production in 2013 stands at 2.5 million barrels per day – about a third of US production – representing an estimated growth rate of 800,000 bpd from 2012, according to the PIRA analysis.
The shale boom has created growth “nearly unparalleled in the history of world oil,” according to PIRA. Unconventional output has add 3.2 million bpd of liquids for the US over the last four years.
“Only Saudi Arabia in 1970-74 raised its production faster,” PIRA said.
The US is expected to add about 1 million bpd in 2014 and its lead “looks to be secure for many years”, the company said.
“Although growth rates of US shale liquids are expected to become smaller in the future, PIRA’s forecast sees the US increasing the lead over the next two largest countries until after 2020 and retaining the lead to at least through 2030.”
*Kathrine Schmidt, Upstreamonline