India takes centre stage in energy economy, to drive demand growth: IEA

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In its drilling productivity report for this month, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said it expected oil production from the seven main inland shale basins to increase about 1.3 percent in December.

"Oil is already facing stiff competition from ever-cheaper and more environmentally friendly energy sources as traditional fossil fuel users switch to cleaner, low-carbon alternatives", IEA said in its World Energy Outlook 2018. That "will bring a lot of dollars to US business".

Paris-based IEA predicts that USA shale oil producers will boost their output by 8 million barrels a day between 2010 and 2025, an increase that "would match the highest sustained period of oil output growth by a single country in the history of oil markets" - rivaling even the massive increase posted by Saudi Arabia between 1966 and 1981.

"The US will become the undisputed global oil and gas leader for decades to come", said Fatih Birol, IEA executive director.

Oil inventories in the world's richest nations fell by 40 million barrels in September, breaking below 3.0 billion barrels for the first time in two years, driven in part by Hurricane Harvey, which shuttered much USA refining capacity in August. The decline left many producers unprofitable, and tens of thousands of jobs were lost.

"Even after some modest reductions to growth, non-OPEC production will follow this year's 700,000-bpd growth with 1.4 million bpd of additional production in 2018 and next year's demand growth will struggle to match this", the IEA said.

Yet that could still change, the IEA said.

The report includes several caveats: While the US will become a major exporter of light crude and refined products, it will remain a major importer of heavier crude oil that is used in many of its refineries.

"There could be further surprises ahead", the IEA said.

The largest contribution to demand growth - nearly 30 per cent - would come from India, whose share of global energy would rise to 11 per cent by 2040, it said. Two recent reports point to an improved oil patch outlook. If the standards stay at today's levels, the US would remain a net oil importer in 2040.

"There are many examples of a country switching from being a net energy exporter to a net importer: it is very rare to see the opposite, especially when the country in question is one of the world's largest importers of oil". "There's big growth coming from shale oil, and as such there'll be a big difference between the USA and other producers".

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