U.S. To Become World’s Top Oil Producer by 2017.

Since oil prices surged in the summer of 2008 causing gasoline prices to push passed the $4/gallon mark, the American energy sector has been in overdrive drilling oil and natural gas wells all across the country.

Those four+ years of increased drilling gains will lead the United States to overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia in oil production by 2017 making the U.S. the world’s largest oil producer.

(REUTERS) – The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s top oil producer by 2017, the West’s energy agency said on Monday, predicting Washington will come very close to achieving a previously unthinkable energy self-sufficiency.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said it saw a continued fall in U.S. oil imports with North America becoming a net oil exporter by around 2030 and the United States becoming almost self-sufficient in energy by 2035.

“The United States, which currently imports around 20 percent of its total energy needs, becomes all but self-sufficient in net terms – a dramatic reversal of the trend seen in most other energy importing countries,” it said.

The forecasts by the IEA, which advises large industrialised nations on energy policy, were in sharp contrast to its previous reports, which saw Saudi Arabia remaining the top producer until 2035.

“Energy developments in the United States are profound and their effect will be felt well beyond North America – and the energy sector,” the IEA said in the annual long-term report, giving one of the most optimistic forecasts for U.S. energy production growth to date.

“The recent rebound in U.S. oil and gas production, driven by upstream technologies that are unlocking light tight oil and shale gas resources, is spurring economic activity – with less expensive gas and electricity prices giving industry a competitive edge,” it added.

IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol told a news conference in London he believed the United States would overtake Russia as the biggest gas producer by a significant margin by 2015. By 2017, it would become the world’s largest oil producer, he said.

Quote via: Reuters.