The U.S. oil production is surging so rapidly that the United States could overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer in less than two years. The U.S Energy Department forecasts that U.S. oil output will average 11.4 million barrels per day in 2013, a record for the U.S. and just below Saudi output of 11.6 million b/d. This year, the U.S. production will average 10.9 million b/d. (AP, 23 October)
The high oil prices and new drilling methods are said to be the main factors behind a 7 percent rise in production this year.
The U.S. will still need to import oil in the years ahead (the country uses 18.7 million barrels per day.) But because of the growing domestic production and the improving fuel efficiency of U.S. cars and trucks, imports could fall by half by the end of the decade.