U.S. Becomes Top Oil Producer Globally

The United States this year became the largest crude oil producer, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia, according to preliminary estimates from the Energy Information Administration.

Although following the June 22 agreement between OPEC and Russia to up production to rein in prices Russia increased its output by more than 200,000 bpd, the average since the start of the year is higher for the United States, where drillers have evidently taken full advantage of higher prices and relatively low costs.

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Gas Could Overtake Oil As The Largest U.S. Energy Source This Year

Natural gas, helped by gains in energy efficiency, will dethrone oil as the biggest energy source that the United States uses by the end of this year. That’s according to the chief executive of Norway-based risk management consultancy DNV GL, and it would hardly come as a surprise to anyone who’s been following energy developments in the world’s top gas producer. Yet it’s only a part of all the glorious energy developments that the Norwegian company expects for the world in the next couple of decades.

Remi Eriksen told CNBC Europe that “Energy efficiency is going to outpace the growth in GDP (gross domestic product), that’s the main reason why energy demand is peaking. (And) there will be a massive change in technology in the transport sector, not only on the roads but also at sea.”

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OPEC Outages Are Driving Up Oil Prices

Geopolitics is once again driving oil prices, and after a pause this summer, tension and unrest could be back at the top of the agenda.

Last week, rioters burned down several buildings in Basra, a major city in Southern Iraq and home to most of the country’s oil production. Despite its oil riches, southern Iraq remains deeply unequal, which has fueled resentment and anger among the neglected populace even as international companies continue to ramp up production from Basra’s vast oil fields. Unemployment, poor public services, electricity outages (at the height of summer heat) and even contaminated water has stoked outrage.

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