Teresa Jones watches the pump at a Shell station in Los Angeles in August.(Photo: Grant Hindsley, AP)
The International Energy Agency expects the United States to become the world's largest oil producer by around 2020, temporarily overtaking Saudi Arabia, thanks to increased output from new exploration technologies.
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The U.S. Energy Department said much the same in a report last month.
The World Energy Outlook 2012 released Monday by the Paris-based IEA also predicts that greater oil and natural gas production and rising energy efficiency will allow the U.S., which currently imports around 20% of its energy needs, to become nearly self-sufficient by around 2035.
The IEA says rebounding U.S. oil and gas production and increasing oil and shale gas resources are "steadily changing the role of North America in global energy trade" and will speed up the change of direction of international oil trade from the Middle East toward Asia.
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