The United States will become the world’s largest oil producer next year – overtaking Russia – thanks to its shale oil boom which has transformed the global energy landscape, the West’s energy watchdog said on Friday.
The prediction comes only days after estimates by the U.S. government showed the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, has ceded its ranking as top global oil importer to China, thanks to the shale revolution cutting import needs.
“The United States’ place in the driver’s seat of growth is also a throwback to decades past,” the International Energy Agency said in its monthly report.
The U.S. resurgence as an oil producer is already reshuffling the cards in the game of world energy diplomacy, playing it a new hand in relations with long-term ally and top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia.
Major producers such as Russia are now forced to invest billions of dollars into new pipelines towards Asia as they can no longer rely on demand from the West, and have to deal with increasingly assertive Beijing.
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