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Shifting Balances In Oil Production

The United States And Iraq Have Increased Oil Production

An article found on CNBC indicates that the United States will soon overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia as the biggest oil producer in the world. And though the United States is also the biggest consumer of oil in the world, the United States International Energy Administration indicates that it may become self-sufficient by 2020.

petroleum refinery
Oil refinery.
Image obtained with thanks from Iraq Business News.

The Wall Street Journal sudden surge in local production is mainly due to the use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to get at shale oil. And with this newfound capacity comes the pressure to lift the ban on exporting fuel.

US is Not the Only One with Booming Production

However, the United States is not the only one with increased production. Reuters reported that Iraq is now the world’s fastest growing oil producer in the world. Currently, it is the second largest producer in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC.

Iraq’s southern fields are one of the main contributors to the expansion, with the huge North Rumaila probably being the largest oilfield in the country with the potential to churn out as much as 2.85 million barrels of oil per day in the second half of the coming decade. British Petroleum holds the technical service contract, while the field services and inspection contract is held by the joint venture by Unaoil and RBG Middle East.

An article on USA Today suggests that Iraq’s production would rise by 20% in 2014, the equivalent of about 4.5 million barrels per day. By the year 2020, production is expected to jump by 157% for a total of about 9 million barrels per day.

The balance of oil production appears to be shifting to the United States and Iraq. Projections from the United States International Energy Administration indicate that growth from non-OPEC producer is expected to lower oil prices. From a little under $109 in the year 2013, prices of Brent crude oil are expected to go slightly below $105 per barrel in 2014.In terms of WTI crude oil, the price in 2013 was at about $98 and is projected to down to around $95 per barrel in the year 2014.

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