The US could become the oil world’s new king in 2018 as it was poised to ramp up crude oil production by 10 per cent to about 11 million barrels per day, according to a report. The report by research firm Rystad Energy on Wednesday said surging shale oil output should allow the US to dethrone Russia and Saudi Arabia as the planet’s leading crude oil producer, reports CNN. The US has not been the global leader, nor ahead of both Russia and Saudi Arabia, since 1975. “The market has completely changed due to the US shale machine,” said Nadia Martin Wiggen, Rystad’s vice president of markets.
The prediction shows how the fracking revolution has turned the US into an energy powerhouse — a transformation that President Donald Trump vowed to accelerate by cutting regulation. This long-term shift has allowed the US to be less reliant on foreign oil, including from the turbulent Middle East, the report said. US oil production slipped but did noy completely collapse after Saudi-led OPEC launched a price war in 2015 aimed at reclaiming market share lost to shale and other players, CNN reported.
A massive supply glut caused crude to crash from around $100 a barrel to a low of $26. Cheap prices forced shale companies in Texas, North Dakota to dial back. Domestic output bottomed at 8.55 million barrels per day in September 2016, down 11 per cent from the peak in April 2015, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Meanwhile, US oil imports have dropped by 25 per cent over the past nine years, the EIA said. At the same time, US oil exports have flourished since the 40-year ban on shipping crude overseas was lifted in 2015. Exports have more than tripled over the past year to record highs. The US still imports more oil than it exports, but that gap is shrinking.