The report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), a Paris-based think tank, is a thumping endorsement for the shale sector’s resilience in the face of a two-year attempt by Saudi Arabia and others to squeeze it. That’s already visible in U.S. government forecasts, which say U.S. crude oil production will rise from an average of 9.2 million barrels a day this year to 9.9 million barrels a day in 2018, a new all-time high beating a record set in 1970.
The IEA said the U.S. will account for 80 percent of the increase in global oil supply between now and 2025, as shale producers find ever more ways to pump oil profitably even at lower prices. By the late 2020s, the U.S. will become a net exporter of oil for the first time since the 1950s.
In natural gas the trend is the same, only faster. By the mid 2020s, the IEA expects the U.S. to become the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, demand for which is set to rise strongly as China, India, and Southeast Asia all turn away from coal to cleaner energy sources.
Also helping the equation is the projection that oil demand in the U.S. is set to fall by over 4 million barrels a day by 2040, due to the spread of electric vehicles and improved fuel efficiency in those vehicles that still use combustion engines.
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