The International Energy Agency (IEA) says the United States will overtake Russia as the world’s biggest crude oil producer by 2019 at the latest, as U.S. shale output continues to grow.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol made the comments at an event in Tokyo on February 27, after U.S. oil output rose above 10 million barrels per day in late 2017 for the first time since the 1970s, overtaking top oil exporter Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration has said the country’s output would exceed 11 million barrels per day by late 2018. Russia pumps just below that mark.
The soaring U.S. production comes at a time when other major producers have been withholding output to prop up prices.
U.S. oil is also increasingly being exported, eating away at OPEC and Russian market share.
Birol told Reuters news agency that he did not expect a decline in U.S. crude oil production in the next four to five years.