The U.S. is expected to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world biggest total supplier of oil this year when natural gas liquids and biofuels are added to crude, PIRA Energy Group said.
The U.S. is projected to produce an average of 12.1 million barrels a day of liquids in 2013, 300,000 barrels a day higher than Saudi Arabia and 1.6 million more than Russia, according to data presented at PIRA’s Retainer Client Seminar Oct. 10 and Oct. 11 in New York.
The U.S. 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 barrels a day in the last four years, the biggest gain since Saudi Arabia raised production between 1970 and 1974.