No matter how much oil the United States produces over the next few years, it will never become the next Saudi Arabia in the global oil market, according to Fatih Birol, the new executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
What’s especially interesting about this forecast is that it directly contradicts what Birol said only three months ago, and he gave no explanation for his change of mind.
On Feb. 26, Birol told The Telegraph’s Middle East Congress in London that OPEC, particularly the Persian Gulf members, will prevail over all other producers for the foreseeable future, even though the revolution in extracting shale oil has been “excellent news” for American producers.
“The United States will never be a major oil exporter. Their import needs are getting less but the US is not becoming Saudi Arabia,” Birol told the conference. “Their production growth is good to diversify the market but it will not solve the world’s oil problems.”
But at least for the next 10 years, the cartel’s two top producers, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, will be the countries best equipped to meet the world’s demand for energy, especially if non-OPEC producers such as Brazil, Canada and the United States see production falter, Birol said.
Birol’s comments don’t jibe with what he said on Nov. 12, 2014, when he was still the IEA’s chief economist, when introducing the agency’s annual World Energy Outlook. He was appointed to the agency’s top position two weeks ago.
Full article: US Will Never Gain Oil Market Crown Says IEA Head (Oil Price)