The United States could eventually produce more oil and gas than the current top producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Speaking to a panel of experts at the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal, Canada, a US official said the US is currently seeing a big rise in oil and gas production and in another ten years could overtake both Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Over the last four years the United States has produced an extra 1.6million barrels of oil. Commissioner in Alaska’s department of natural resources, Daniel Sullivan, told the Forum that during the last quarter the United States produced 6 million barrels of oil a day something which the US hasn’t done in over 15 years.
At the moment Saudi Arabia produces 9.923 million barrels a day while Russia produces 9.920 million barrels a day. According to Mr Sullivan, the consultancy firm PFC Energy estimated that by 2020 “the US could be the largest hydrocarbon producer — that’s oil and gas — in the world, overtaking Russia and Saudi Arabia”.
Whether this will have any implications for business electricity prices or gas prices is unclear. Oil and gas is a finite commodity and will eventually run out. Consequently, while production in the US increases it may simply replace decreasing oil and gas production in other areas, such as the North Sea.
Much of the potential oil and gas production is set to come from wells in and around the Arctic which is a cause of controversy. Environmental campaigners are concerned that drilling in these fragile eco systems may damage the environment permanently, especially if there’s an oil spill similar to the one in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago.