Oil independence by 2035 likely
By The Los Angeles Times
Published: Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
The United States will become the world's top producer of oil within five years, a net exporter of the fuel around 2030 and nearly self-sufficient in energy by 2035, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.
It's a bold set of predictions for a nation that currently imports about 20 percent of its energy needs.
Recently, however, an “energy renaissance” in the United States has caused a boost in oil, shale gas and bio-energy production thanks to new technologies such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Fuel efficiency has improved in the transportation sector. The clean energy industry has seen an influx of solar and wind efforts.
By 2015, U.S. oil production is expected to rise to 10 million barrels per day; by 2020, 11.1 million barrels per day, overtaking second-place Russia and front-runner Saudi Arabia. The United States will export more oil than it brings into the country in 2030, the report said.
Around the same time, however, Saudi Arabia will be producing about 11.4 million barrels per day of oil, outpacing the 10.2 million from the U.S. In 2035, U.S. production will slip to 9.2 million barrels per day, far behind the Middle Eastern nation's 12.3 million barrels per day. Iraq will exceed Russia to become the world's second-largest oil exporter.
At that point, real oil prices will reach $125 a barrel. By then, however, the U.S. won't be relying much on foreign energy, according to the IEA's World Energy Outlook.
Globally, the energy economy will undergo a “sea change,” according to the report, with nearly 90 percent of Middle Eastern oil exports redirecting toward Asia.
“No country is an energy ‘island,' and the interactions between different fuels, markets and prices are intensifying,” according to the report.
And what of energy-efficiency efforts?
Fossil fuels, which enjoyed a 30 percent jump in subsidies last year to $523 billion worldwide, will still surpass renewable energy sources, according to IEA. But so-called green power will become the world's second-largest form of generation within three years and will threaten coal's supremacy by 2035.
That progression, however, “hinges critically on continued subsidies” for wind, solar and biofuel technologies, which last year amounted to some $88 billion and needs to reach $4.8 trillion through 2035, according to IEA.
Even then, however, “the world is still failing to put the global energy system onto a more sustainable path,” according to the report.
Global energy demand will boom by 2035, rising to 99.7 million barrels a day from 87.4 million last year. China's demand will rise 60 percent in that period; India's will more than double. Demand in developed countries will increase just 3 percent, with the desire for oil and coal losing share in the overall energy mix.
Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will creep up, causing a long-term average temperature increase of 3.6 degrees Celsius, or 6.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Energy production will continue to suck at the world's water resources — it already accounts for 15 percent of total water use.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Tabata OK’d to return to play
- 4 dead in ‘horrific’ Armstrong County crash
- Expert witness for Pistorius blistered again
- Kovacevic: Bylsma’s moves — yes, moves — pay off
- Franklin Regional seeks waiver of days lost in knife attack; victim improves
- Penn State researchers help identify planet similar to Earth
- Former Steelers player appeals court ruling on Shadyside event venue
- Former Pitt captain Cavanaugh blazes trail as entrepreneur
- Financially troubled August Wilson Center attracts four investment proposals
- Quaker Valley board to begin interviewing superintendent candidates
- Fire destroys Frazer home