IEA sees North American energy leadership

Nov. 12, 2012 at 8:59 AM

PARIS, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- The United States may become almost self-sufficient in terms of oil and natural gas by 2035, a report from the International Energy Agency states.

The IEA, in its 2012 edition of the World Energy Outlook, said by 2020, the United States is expected to be a net exporter of natural gas and the North American region should follow suit in terms of oil by 2035.

The report said fossil fuels remain the dominant form of energy in the global mix in part because of government subsidies. Outside of North America, the IEA reports that North African and Middle Eastern governments supported the fossil fuel sector with $523 billion in subsidies last year, a 30 percent increase from the previous year.

The IEA said the exploiting unconventional reserves like tar sands oil, abundant in Canada, boost the supply outlook for countries outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The world, however, turns back to OPEC supplies after 2020, the IEA said.

OPEC, in its World Oil Outlook report published last week, said shale natural gas production in the United States increased from 15 billion cubic feet per day in 2010 to 25 billion cubic feet per day this year.

OPEC said it expected shale formations to play a role in satisfying emerging energy needs but the refining sector needs an overhaul to take advantage of shale resources.

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