U.S. Expected to Become Huge Exporter of LNG

The U.S. Energy Department said crude oil production from the United States could reach 7.5 million barrels per day before the end of the decade. Natural gas production, meanwhile, should increase to the point that the country becomes a net exporter of LNG. The report found most of the growth was from shale and other tight formations. Last month, shale opponents characterized U.S. growth predictions from the International Energy Agency as “dangerously false.” Before the Energy Department’s report, however, oil companies operating in some of the largest shale plays announced they were reserving a sizable portion of their 2013 budgets to capitalize on the U.S. oil and natural gas boom.

Last month, the International Energy Agency said it expected the United States would eclipse Saudi Arabia in terms of oil output within the next decade. The Paris-based agency said that, by 2025, the United States would pump about 10.9 million barrels of oil per day, 100,000 bpd more than Saudi Arabia.

Analysts, including those from Oilprice, questioned the IEA’s reporting, however, describing the figures as “trick numbers.” Others described the clamoring over the IEA’s outlook as “political fodder,” while advocacy group Food & Water Watch said the predictions were, for all intents and purposes, false.

The U.S. Energy Department, in its annual energy outlook for 2013, finds U.S. crude oil production should increase, on average, by 234,000 bpd through 2019. By then, the report states, U.S. crude oil production should reach 7.5 million bpd.