The United States will surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil producer by 2015 and be close to energy self-sufficiency in the next two decades amid booming output from shale formations, the International Energy Agency said today, Bloomberg reported


Crude prices will advance to $128 a barrel by 2035 with a 16 percent increase in consumption supporting the development of so-called tight oil in the U.S. and a tripling in output from Brazil, the IEA said.


The role of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will recover in the middle of the next decade as other nations struggle to repeat North America's success with exploiting shale deposits, the agency predicted.


U.S. oil production will rise to 11.6 million barrels a day in 2020, from 9.2 million in 2012, as it taps rock and shale layers in North Dakota and Texas with the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, according to the IEA, a Paris-based adviser to 28 energy-consuming nations. The report didn't specify an output level for 2015.


Editor's Note: A few months ago I read an extremely interesting article in The Atlantic based around the premise of "What if we never run out of oil?" It was a fascinating read about the potential economic impacts both positive and sometimes negative both domestically and internationally IF the United States found ways to tap into potential petroleum right at home. It's a long article, but, it flies in the face of the commonly held premise that we will someday run out of fossil fuels. I promise it's worth the read. Check it out here: The Atlantic 


- Chris Conetzkey, editor of the Business Record