U.S. shale to curb imports for decades, EIA says

04 08, 2014 by UPI.com

U.S. imports of petroleum and liquid fuel sources should dip to 25 percent by the mid 2010s before rising again by 2040, the Energy Department said Monday.

The Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, started the first in a series of phased roll outs from its annual outlook for 2014. It said in its initial report Monday the import share of petroleum and other liquid fuels declines to about 25 percent of the total fuel supply by the middle of this decade and doesn't rise again above 30 percent until around 2040.

According to EIA, part of the decrease in imports is because of the increase in production from so-called tight oil formations, a reference to reserves found in underground shale formations.

EIA said U.S. oil production should hit 9.6 million barrels per day before 2020, a level not seen since 1970, and tight oil production should account for more than 80 percent of the increase.

The administration said tight oil should account for more than 60 percent of all U.S. oil production by 2035, but warned production from tight oil is still in its infancy.

"In EIA's view, there is more upside potential for greater gains in production than downside potential for lower production levels," the report said Monday.