Bloomberg News

North America May Be Self-Sufficient in Crude Oil by 2030

January 26, 2012

(Adds comment in second paragraph.)

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- North America may be self-sufficient in oil by 2030 because of growing U.S. domestic production and Canadian output, according to Julian Lee, a senior energy analyst at the Centre for Global Energy Studies.

“That will have huge implications for the global flow of crude oil,”Lee said at the Argus Americas Crude Summit in Houston. He also cited a decline in consumption since 2005.

The U.S. is the world’s largest oil-consuming country. The U.S., Canada and Mexico together used 23.4 million barrels a day of oil in 2010, accounting for 27 percent of global demand, according to BP Plc’s annual Statistical Review of World Energy.

Rising shale oil production and increasing imports from Canada added about 450,000 barrels a day to U.S. pipeline supplies in 2011, Lee said. Last year, U.S. seaborne imports averaged about 6.7 million barrels a day, the lowest level since the mid 1990s.

If there is significant growth in heavy Brazilian and Colombian production and political change in Venezuela, Middle East imports could come under “significant pressure,” Lee said.

“Does this mean that in order to secure continued U.S. interest in their stability, the Gulf countries of the Middle East have to offer discounts to sell their oil to the United states?” Lee said. “It doesn’t have the same existential security of physical supply consideration that perhaps it has at moment.”

--Editors: Margot Habiby, Charlotte Porter

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Clark in New York at aclark27@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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