By MARK SHENK
The US is expected to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's
biggest total supplier of oil this year when natural gas
liquids and biofuels are added to crude, PIRA
Energy Group said.
The US is projected to produce an average of
12.1 million bpd of liquids in 2013, 300,000 bpd higher than
Saudi Arabia and 1.6 million more than Russia, according to
data presented at PIRAs Retainer Client Seminar Oct. 10
and Oct. 11 in New York.
The US position has improved because of surging shale
oil output, the New York-based energy consultant said.
The combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic
fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked supplies in shale
formations in the central part of the country.
Shale liquids output has climbed 3.2 million bpd in the last
four years, the biggest gain since Saudi Arabia raised
production between 1970 and 1974.
This isnt a big surprise but notable all the
same, said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy
& Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts.
This is another sign of the successful story that is
The US is forecast to pump 7.4 million bpd of crude and
condensate, 2.5 million of natural gas liquids and 1 million of
biofuels, according to PIRA. It also
counted almost 1.3 million of refinery gains, a measure of
the ability of refineries to optimize output through
Saudi Arabia and Russia pump about 3
million bpd more crude oil than the US, PIRA
Total US liquids supply is projected to climb 1 million bbl in
2013, about the same as last years growth, PIRA said.
This is greater than the sum of the next nine fastest-growing
countries combined and has covered most global demand gain over
the past two years.
US liquids output will probably rise faster than that in Saudi
Arabia and Russia until after 2020 and the nation should
maintain the lead through 2030, according to PIRA.
Cover image courtesy of Thomas Hawk via