OE13: US energy independence

BP chief economist Christof Ruehl said the US will become energy independent, due to unconventionals, by 2030, in yesterday’s [Thursday] lunch, Energy Markets – the Short and Long Term.

Ruehl said unconventionals (tight oil and shale gas) will grow to 104 MMb/d and provide 9% of total world production by 2030, with 6.5% coming from North America, 1.5% from Russia, and 0.5% each from South America and China.

BP’s forecast is conservative, he said, and has a decelerating production profile. North America’s competitive energy market, with its high prices and known resources, is the real driver behind the tremendous increase in unconventional development.

Despite a decade of rising prices, Venezuela has not developed heavy oil, and China has not exploited its shale, evidence that activity is driven by market mechanisms other than geographic resource distribution.

Ruehl said 54% of the US deficit is derived from the imbalance of energy payments, and continued unconventional production would rebalance the world financial markets.

“It’s going to be big,” he said, “and it looks like it will be beneficial.”

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