The publication argued that the shale oil and gas revolution in the United States continues and that, by the the mid-2020s, the U.S. is projected to become the world's largest liquefied natural gas exporter and a net oil exporter by the end of that decade.
"A remarkable ability to unlock new resources cost-effectively pushes combined United States oil and gas output to a level 50% higher than any other country has ever managed; already a net exporter of gas, the USA becomes a net exporter of oil in the late 2020s", the IEA said in its 2017 world energy report.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) cut its forecast for oil demand growth on Tuesday, saying recovering oil prices and a mild early winter were weighing on crude purchases. If the standards stay at today's levels, the USA would remain a net oil importer in 2040. Forecasts for shale-oil output in 2025 were bolstered by 34% to 9 MMbpd. But the oil market isn't tightening as quickly as once anticipated, the IEA said in its monthly oil-market report.
While oil prices have recovered to a two-year high above $60/bbl, they're still about half the level traded earlier this decade, as the global market struggles to absorb the scale of the US bonanza.
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Global oil demand will fall only modestly alongside the expected rise in electric vehicles over the next two decades, with consumption in petrochemicals and other transportation still growing, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday.
"Even with the extraordinary move to a net export position, the health of the USA energy economy remains intricately linked with those of its neighbors in North America and with choices made by countries further afield", the group said. The country will "see a reduction of these huge import needs", Birol said at a press conference in London. But the expected increase would put the US further into uncharted territory.
The expected USA surge will account for 80% of the increase in global supply over the time period. The cartel, led by Middle East producers, will see its share of the market grow to 46% in 2040 from 43% now.
The IEA said planned and unplanned disruptions from OPEC may be offset elsewhere, however.
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As shale has outperformed expectations so far, the IEA added a scenario in which the industry beats current projections.
The oil market should be able to find a longer-term equilibirum, with the oil price in a range of US$50-70 a barrel, the agency said.
The largest disruptive force on the supply front will be the United States, the IEA said.
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