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State and Nation Business

U.S. seen exceeding Saudi oil production by 2020

The International Energy Agency expects the United States to become the world's largest oil producer by around 2020, temporarily overtaking Saudi Arabia, thanks to increased output achieved by new exploration technologies.

The World Energy Outlook 2012 released Monday by the Paris-based IEA also predicts that greater oil and natural gas production as well as rising energy efficiency will allow the U.S., which currently imports around 20 percent of its energy needs, to become nearly self-sufficient by around 2035.

The IEA says rebounding U.S. oil and gas production and increasing light tight oil and shale gas resources are "steadily changing the role of North America in global energy trade" and will speed up the change of direction of international oil trade from the Middle East toward Asia.

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