18 February 2013 15:08 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The International Petroleum Week opened in London on Monday with International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Fatih Birol stressing the growing advantages for the US in the midst of diverging outlooks for national markets in the oil and gas sector.
“Within five years, US will be the number one oil producer in the world, and the number one gas producer in the world,” Birol said.
An advantage in upstream oil and gas could sharpen US’ competitive edge in the petrochemicals market worldwide.
The IEA’s chief economist, Birol stressed the strong link between the “giant steps” made by the US towards energy security and its growing independence from the Middle East.
“Oil imports of the US from the Middle East will reach a minimum by 2035 as a result of increasing oil production and a decline in domestic consumption,” Birol said.
However, Birol added that the “heart of oil will be the Middle East for a long time to come.”
Meanwhile, BP group chief economist Christof Ruhl pointed out the numerous factors stacked in favour of the US in utilising its energy resources.
“It is a competitive market, there is free access and in terms of infrastructure, there is a deep financial sector which allows investors to hedge against risk.”
Global energy security is expected to be high on the agenda at the IP Week conference, which is being held on 18–20 February.
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