WASHINGTON, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- China's official news agency says the U.S. shale oil boom that will make it the world's top oil producer by next year was the most underreported story of 2013.
The Xinhua News Agency, citing the International Energy Agency and experts it interviewed, said the United States, driven by the development of its shale oilfields, is poised to become the world's largest oil producer by 2015.
U.S. output in 2014 is projected to hit 8.5 million barrels of oil a day.
"The increases are largely attributed to the development of the oil fields in Texas, North Dakota and the Gulf of Mexico," Gene Panasenko, a financial consultant and wealth manager at LPL Financial, told Xinhua. He said this boom will help the United States become more energy independent in the next two decades.
The oil boom story did not get enough attention in 2013 as other events, including the re-election of U.S. President Barack Obama, the U.S. government shutdown and issues related to the rollout of Obama's Affordable Care Act took precedence.
"We feel that the reason these outstanding developments are not getting enough coverage is because of the government shutdown and Obamacare developing story," Shane H. Siederman, chartered financial consultant at Bay Ridge Financial Group Inc., told Xinhua.
The benefits from the oil boom would also extend to other U.S. industries, Xinhua said.
Siederman said the petroleum and coal industries have expanded each month since June, representing about 10 percent of manufacturing growth. He cited some reports showing more than 3.2 percent of all U.S. manufacturing jobs last year were linked to the oil and natural gas surge.
Barry Bosworth, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, told Xinhua oil development plays a major role in job creation since it will lower the price of energy for a wide range of energy-using industries. But reduced energy imports and higher exports will also tend to drive up the value of the U.S. dollar, the Chinese news agency said.