U.S. to become world’s largest oil producer before 2020, IEA says

Los Angeles Times, By Tiffany Hsu, November 12

The U.S. will become the world’s top producer of oil within five years, a net exporter of the fuel around 2030 and nearly self-sufficient in energy by 2035, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.

It’s a bold set of predictions for a nation that currently imports some 20% of its energy needs.

Recently, however, an “energy renaissance” in the U.S. has caused a boost in oil, shale gas and bio-energy production due to new technologies such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Fuel efficiency has improved in the transportation sector. The clean energy industry has seen an influx of solar and wind efforts.

By 2015, U.S. oil production is expected to rise to 10 million barrels per day before increasing to 11.1 million bpd by 2020, overtaking second-place Russia and front-runner Saudi Arabia. The U.S. will export more oil than it brings into the country in 2030.

Around the same time, however, Saudi Arabia will be producing some 11.4 million bpd of oil, outpacing the 10.2 million from the U.S. In 2035, U.S. production will slip to 9.2 million bpd, far behind the Middle Eastern nation’s 12.3 million bpd. Iraq will exceed Russia to become the world’s second largest oil exporter.

The new World Energy Outlook 2012 was released today. Executive Summary [pdf], Fact Sheets [pdf].

Somebody’s gotten into the tar sands bath salts, again…


From the Fact Sheets:

Taking all new developments and policies into account, the world is still failing to put the global energy system onto a more sustainable path. The New Policies Scenario, our central scenario, shows that several fundamental trends persist: energy demand and CO2 emissions rise ever higher; energy market dynamics are increasingly determined by emerging economies; fossil fuels remain the dominant energy sources; and providing universal energy access to the world’s poor continues to be an elusive goal.

Energy demand and CO2 emissions rise ever higher in the New Policies Scenario. Global energy demand increases by over one‐third in the period to 2035. Energy‐related CO2 emissions rise from an estimated 31.2 Gt in 2011 to 37.0 Gt in 2035, pointing to a long‐term average temperature increase of 3.6 °C. A lower rate of global economic growth in the short term would make only a marginal difference to longer‐term energy and climate trends.

6 comments to U.S. to become world’s largest oil producer before 2020, IEA says

  • Raja

    Guest Post: U.S. Shale Goes Boom, Rest Of World Goes Bust

    Zero Hedge, November 12

    OPEC, in its World Oil Report, said there’s an overall sense that developing shale oil and natural gas could start to redefine the global energy mix. In the United States, the cartel said shale natural gas production alone grew by more than 60 percent from 2010 to 2012. For shale oil, supplies in the United States have already passed the 1 million barrel-per-day mark. Though shale reserves may ultimately be a game changer, said OPEC, outside the United States, the sector is in its infancy.

    The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries published its 300-page World Oil Outlook [pdf] this week. The cartel said it was “evident that this resource (shale oil and gas) will contribute to the overall energy mix.” The cartel found total shale natural gas production in the United States increased from 15 million cubic feet for day in 2012 to 25 billion cubic feet per day two years later. There is a clear potential for shale natural gas on the global energy stage, said OPEC, as clean natural gas starts to replace coal as a source of electricity and becomes a major feedstock in the petrochemicals industry.

    Counterpoint: US Shale Gas Supplies won’t Last Ten Years: An Interview with Bill Powers

  • Raja

    IEA acknowledges fossil fuel reserves climate crunch

    The Price Of Oil, By Lorne Stockman, November 12

    The International Energy Agency released its annual flagship publication today, the World Energy Outlook. The IEA made an historic statement in the executive summary.

    It said, “No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2 °C goal”, the internationally recognized limit to average global warming in order to prevent catastrophic climate change.

    [...]

    Let’s take the Canadian tar sands industry as an example. As the chart below shows, the tar sands industry has enough projects producing, under construction and approved to blow well past the climate limits prescribed by the IEA. Nevertheless even more projects are lined up for regulatory approval leading to a possible trebling of production capacity over and above the IEA limit.

    Globally, the oil industry as a whole is also lining up enough production capacity to cook the climate several times over.

    [...]

    Last year, the London based Carbon Tracker Initiative calculated the proportion of proven fossil fuel reserves that could be consumed to have an 80% chance of hitting the 2 degree target. A target which I think many of us would be more comfortable with than one that basically gives us a 50/50 chance of failure. They found that proven reserves are five times over this limit. So some 80% of those reserves would need to stay in the ground.

  • Raja

    Energy group: Global carbon dioxide emissions hit new record

    Agence France-Presse, November 13

    Global carbon dioxide emissions hit a new record last year at 34 billion tonnes, with China still topping the list of greenhouse gas producers, a German-based private institute said Tuesday.

    The Renewable Energy Industry Institute (IWR) said that the total amounted to 800 million tonnes more than in 2010, with China accounting for 8.9 billion tonnes — far more than the US tally of 6.0 billion tonnes.

    The study found that after a brief dip in 2009 due to the global economic crisis, the upward trajectory had resumed.

    “If the current trend continues then global CO2 emissions will rise another 20 percent by the year 2020 to reach 40 billion tonnes of CO2,” IWR director Norbert Allnoch said in a statement.


    Press Release: Climate: Global CO2 emissions rise to new record level in 2011

    Muenster – Global CO2 emissions again reached a new record level in 2011. At 34 billion metric tons (2010: about 33.2 bn metric tons), more carbon dioxide from fossil energy carriers was blown into the atmosphere than ever before, according to IWR, a german renewable energy institute in Muenster. After the decline in emissions in 2009 as a consequence of the global economic and financial crisis, annual CO2 emissions returned to the growth path seen in recent years. “If the current trend persists, by 2020 global CO2 emissions will then increase by a further 20 percent to over 40 bn metric tons of CO2″, said IWR director Dr. Norbert Allnoch. As a comparison: In 1990 just 22.7 bn metric tons of carbon dioxide were emitted worldwide.

    China comes highest in the CO2 ranking of countries for 2011 with 8.9 bn metric tons of carbon dioxide (2010: 8.3 bn metric tons). That is 50 percent more than the USA with 6.0 bn metric tons (2010: 6.2 bn metric tons), which ranked second. At 1.8 bn metric tons (2010: 1.7 bn metric tons), India ranks third ahead of Russia with 1.67 bn metric tons (2010: 1.7 bn metric tons) and Japan with 1.3 bn metric tons (2010: 1.3 bn metric tons). Germany ranks 6th with 804 m metric tons (2010: 828 m metric tons). Among the top 10 largest emitters, the USA, Russia and Germany reduced their CO2 emissions in comparison to the previous year (all national results at http://www.cerina.org/de/co2-2011).

  • Raja

    Al Gore calls on Barack Obama to ‘act boldly’ on climate change

    Former vice-president and climate champion urges re-elected president to immediately begin pushing for a carbon tax.

    The Guardian, By Suzanne Goldenberg, November 13

    The former vice-president and climate champion, Al Gore, has called on Barack Obama to seize the moment and use his re-election victory to push through bold action on climate change.

    The president has faced rising public pressure in the wake of superstorm Sandy to deliver on his promise to act on global warming.

    But none of those calling on Obama to act carries the moral authority of Gore, who has devoted his post-political career to building a climate movement.

    Now, Gore said, it is the president’s turn. He urged Obama to immediately begin pushing for a carbon tax in negotiations over the “fiscal cliff” budget crisis.

    [...]

    Gore will ratchet up his own pressure on Wednesday evening when he hosts a 24-hour live online broadcast from New York city on the connections between climate change and extreme events such as Sandy.

    The Dirty Weather Report, produced by his Climate Reality Project, will kick off with footage from New Jersey’s devastated shore and interviews with governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo. It begins at 8pm eastern time.

  • Raja

    Loophole Lets Toxic Oil Water Flow Over Indian Land

    NPR, By Elizabeth Shogren, November 15

    The air reeks so strongly of rotten eggs that tribal leader Wes Martel hesitates to get out of the car at an oil field on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. He already has a headache from the fumes he smelled at another oil field.

    Martel is giving me a tour of one of a dozen oil and gas fields on the reservation. These operations have the federal government’s permission to dump wastewater on the land — so much that it creates streams that flow into natural creeks and rivers. And this water contains toxic chemicals, including known carcinogens and radioactive material, according to documents obtained by NPR through Freedom of Information Act requests.

    [...]

    In most of the country, this would be illegal. Most oil fields reinject wastewater far underground, where it cannot cause harm.

  • Raja

    Coal to challenge oil’s dominance by 2017, says IEA

    Agency predicts further rise in coal use due to fall in price and failing EU emissions trading scheme, threatening green targets

    The Guardian, By Fiona Harvey, December 18

    Coal is likely to rival oil as the world’s biggest source of energy in the next five years, with potentially disastrous consequences for the climate, according to the world’s leading authority on energy economics.

    One of the biggest factors behind the rise in coal use has been the massive increase in the use of shale gas in the US.

    Coal consumption is increasing all over the world – even in countries and regions with carbon-cutting targets – except the US, where shale gas has displaced coal, shows new research from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The decline of the fuel in the US has helped to cut prices for coal globally, which has made it more attractive, even in Europe where coal use was supposed to be discouraged by the emissions trading scheme.

    Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the IEA, said: “Coal’s share of the global energy mix continues to grow each year, and if no changes are made to current policies, coal will catch oil within a decade.”

    [...]

    According to the IEA’s Medium Term Coal Market Report, published on Tuesday morning, the world will burn 1.2bn more tonnes of coal per year by 2017 compared with today – the equivalent of the current coal consumption of Russia and the US combined. Global coal consumption is forecast to reach 4.3bn tonnes of oil equivalent by 2017, while oil consumption is forecast to reach 4.4bn tonnes by the same date.

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