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Energy Agency: U.S. Will 'Clearly' Overtake Saudi, Russia As World's Largest Oil Exporter


International Energy Agency Director Fatih Birol (file photo)

WASHINGTON -- The United States will "clearly" overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world's largest oil exporter in the next few years amid an "unprecedented" energy boom, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

"They will be neck to neck in the next few quarter and years, but It is only a matter of time before the US will be clearly the top oil exporter of the world," IEA Director Fatih Birol said on September 13 at a press conference in Washington with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry

Birol's comments come a day after IEA preliminary data showed that U.S. "gross" oil exports in June surpassed those of its two largest competitors for the first time since Washington ended a four-decade ban on oil exports in 2015.

Through 2024 the U.S. will experience “huge production growth unprecedented in the history of oil up to now,” Birol said, opening the door for greater exports.

The IEA forecasts U.S. oil production to grow 1.25 million barrels a day this year and another 1 million barrels a day next year. U.S. crude and liquid gas production will reach 20 million barrels a day by 2024 compared with an average of 17 million barrels a day this year, Birol said.

The U.S. hydrocarbon boom is enabling the country to ship oil and gas to East European countries seeking to break their dependence on Russian energy.

Ukraine in July purchased its first shipment of U.S. crude while Belarus is now lobbying Washington for permission to buy U.S. oil.

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