United States poised to become largest global oil producer in 2018

Research firm predicts shale oil production to jump 10%, total average production to reach 11 million barrels per day

1975 was the last year the U.S. could claim top spot in the global oil producer rankings — Saudi Arabia and Russia have been the dominant producers since, with the Arab state averaging over 8 million barrels per day between 1973 and 2017.

But a new report from Norwegian energy research firm Rystad Energy says the “Shale Revolution” has the U.S. poised to return to king-status in 2018, with U.S. crude oil production rising to 11 million barrels per day by December, creeping past current global leaders Russia and Saudi Arabia.

"The market has completely changed due to the U.S. shale machine," Nadia Martin Wiggen, Rystad's vice president of markets told CNN.

While Rystad’s report credits rising oil prices and new, cheaper technologies as its rationale for its bullish view on U.S. oil production, the International Energy Agency’s most recent energy outlook has the U.S. averaging 10 million barrels per day in 2018 — while not quite enough to take the global oil production crown, that number would still be a record for the nation whose previous high was set in 1970 at 9.6 million bpd annual average.

The resurgence in domestic production over the past nine years has led to an almost 25 percent drop in oil imports to the U.S., according the IEA. A 40-year-old crude oil export ban was lifted by the federal government in 2015, and by October 2017, producers were taking advantage, exporting nearly 2 million barrels per day to markets in East Asia, Northwest Europe and the Mediterranean.

U.S. oil exports trade discount for market share

The U.S. exported nearly 2 million barrels a day in the first week of October 2017 — approximately the same volume as the oil originating from Europe’s North Sea

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