Energy

US Oil Boom Is Defying Expectations, Experts Say

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter

The United States is expected to churn out far more oil in 2019 than what international analysts originally forecasted.

The International Energy Agency, a Paris-based organization that helps coordinate energy policies for industrial countries, released its latest oil market report Friday, noting exceptional numbers for the U.S. fossil fuel industry.

The agency reported U.S. oil production is expected to rise by 1.3 million barrels a day in 2019. While this number is lower than the record-smashing 2.1 million increase producers enjoyed in 2018, it’s more than double what the IEA initially expected to see in 2019.

The forecast illustrates the latest in the country’s shale oil boom, which has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years thanks to the emergence of hydraulic fracturing and an administration that has fostered a more conducive environment for fossil fuel development. Already, the U.S. is the largest international crude oil producer, with output expected to top 12 million barrels per day in 2019 and reach 12.9 million by 2020, according to the Energy Information Administration’s latest report.

Analysts predict the U.S. will keep blowing past its global competitors.

“By the middle of the year, US crude output will probably be more than the capacity of either Saudi Arabia or Russia,” read a portion of EIA’s report, meaning it expects American companies to churn out more oil than what Saudi Arabia or Russia are even capable of producing.

President Donald Trump hailed the U.S. energy boom as glaring proof he isn’t secretly in cahoots with the Russian government — a conspiracy theory long repeated by his critics.

“‘Gas prices drop across the United States because President Trump has deregulated Energy and we are now  producing a great deal more oil than ever before,'” the president tweeted Monday, attributing the quote to “Fox and Friends.” “But this is bad news for Russia, why would President Trump do such a thing? Thought he worked for Kremlin?” (RELATED: Study: Stop Driving, Flying, Living A Modern Life For A Chance At Limiting Global Warming)

Plunging Energy Prices Put Strain On Texas Economy

ANDREWS, TX – JANUARY 20: An oil pumpjack works at dawn in the Permian Basin oil field on January 20, 2016 in the oil town of Andrews, Texas. Despite recent drops in the price of oil, many residents of Andrews, and similar towns across the Permian, are trying to take the long view and stay optimistic. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 540 points on Wednesday after crude oil plummeted another 7% and crashed below $27 a barrel. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Russian economy — which is entirely dependent on its energy exports — stands to lose with increased global production, which ultimately lowers the price of oil.

The IEA went on to say that, even if global economic growth slows, oil demand will continue to rise.

“Our expectation for slightly faster global demand growth in 2019 is maintained even though economic growth is likely to be slower than in 2018,” the agency told Bloomberg. “The impact of higher oil prices in 2018 is fading, which will help offset lower economic growth.”

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