HOUSTON, March 7 (UPI) -- BP leader Bob Dudley told an energy conference in Houston that the United States is gaining rightful recognition as a world competitor in the energy sector.
Dudley, BP's chief executive officer, said U.S. dependence on imports to meet energy needs is in decline. He credited that with the surge in oil and natural gas production tied to developments in hydraulic fracturing of shale reserves.
For natural gas, he said BP was standing with other energy companies waiting for the government to approve projects that would export liquefied natural gas. In February, BP signed a 20-year agreement to export as much as 4.4 million tons of LNG from an export terminal planned for Texas.
For oil, he touted the reserve potential in North Dakota, which hosts the Bakken oil shale formation. There, Dudley said, oil production in December reached 750,000 barrels per day, up from 100,000 bpd in 2006. That puts North Dakota on par with Ecuador, the No. 12 country among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
"This sector is turning around America's balance of trade, helping it compete internationally, creating jobs and breathing new life into its economy," Dudley said. "America should be very proud of its energy industry today."