Bloomberg News

Natural Gas to Boost U.S. Trade, Lombard Odier Says

March 20, 2012

(Corrects job title in second paragraph of story published yesterday.)

The U.S. current account, the broadest measure of trade, will be in surplus within 10 years as the country produces more natural gas and crude oil, according to Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie.

“This means a considerably reduced need to import energy, and the eventual attainment of complete autonomy, although not before Gulf of Mexico oil production returns to pre-spill levels,” Stephanie Kretz, a member of the investment strategy team for private banking, wrote in a research report received today, referring to the BP Plc (BP/) Deepwater Horizon accident.

Consumption of oil, which accounts for 40 percent of the U.S. trade deficit, will decline relative to overall energy usage as gas’s share increases, Kretz said.

“The trend is firmly in place and will be of great help to a country struggling to reduce deficits and debt levels,” she wrote.

The U.S. current-account deficit was $124.11 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, the most since 2008, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Brown in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at

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