U.S. oil and gas 'resurgence' expected as global demand grows

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Once U.S. production from shale and tight oil plays plateaus and non-OPEC production as a whole declines in the late 2020s, the Middle East once again becomes the primary supplier.

The IEA's 2017 World Energy Outlook finds that global energy markets will be shaped by four major trends over the next three decades: The United States will become the world's leading producer of oil and natural gas; renewable energy, led by a major expansion of solar power in China and India, will experience rapid growth; the share of electricity - and electric vehicles - in the energy mix will expand; and China's continuing economic expansion will increasingly be fueled by clean energy.

"The United States will be the undisputed leader of global oil and gas markets for decades to come", IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg television.

"Even with the extraordinary move to a net export position, the health of the US energy economy remains intricately linked with those of its neighbors in North America and with choices made by countries further afield", the group said.

In the US, the report assumes that improvements in fuel economy standards for cars and trucks will help reduce demand for oil.

The agency raised estimates for the amount of shale oil that can be technically recovered by about 30% to 105 Bbbl.

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The price of oil has risen over 30 percent since June to a two-year high of around $57 a barrel in NY trading amid evidence of stronger economic growth around the world. If the standards stay at today's levels, the US would remain a net oil importer in 2040.

Reflecting an expected flood of supply, the IEA cuts its forecast for oil prices to $83/bbl for 2025 from $101 previously, and the lower prices will help sustain global consumption to 2035, despite growing popularity of electric vehicles. US crude was also off 1.1%, to $56.15. The country will "see a reduction of these huge import needs", Birol said at a press conference in London.

The expected USA surge will account for 80% of the increase in global supply over the time period.

USA shale exploration and production companies weathered a global, two-year industry glut by tightening belts, cutting costs and adopting novel technological advances aimed at increasing production and lowering break-even costs. But the oil market isn't tightening as quickly as once anticipated, the IEA said in its monthly oil-market report.

As shale has outperformed expectations so far, the IEA added a scenario in which the industry beats current projections.

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