U.S. crude oil production is projected to reach 7.5 million barrels a day by 2020, an increase of more than 30% above 2011 numbers, according to a new report from U.S. energy officials.
Natural gas production, meanwhile, is expected to outpace consumption by 2020, spurring exports, according to the Energy Information Administration. The U.S. is expected to become a net exporter of liquefied natural gas in 2016, the EIA says.
The EIA's annual energy outlook report, released Wednesday, provides a glimpse of major trends in U.S. energy production and consumption. The 2013 report comes at a time when the U.S. is gaining increased recognition as a leading global energy producer.
The International Energy Agency said in November that the U.S. could overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer by 2020.
The EIA did not provide a comparable number to that presented by the IEA, making it difficult to determine whether the U.S. agency agrees with the international agency's projection.
Increases in crude oil production come largely from onshore production, where energy companies are tapping into shale and other tight formations. After about 2020, production will decline and drop to 6.1 million barrels a day in 2040, the EIA said.
Crude production in 2011 reached 5.6 million barrels a day, according to the EIA.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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