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U.S. to overtake Saudi as top oil producer: IEA

• http://www.reuters.com, By Peg Mackey

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said it saw a continued fall in U.S. oil imports with North America becoming a net oil exporter by around 2030 and the United States becoming almost self-sufficient in energy by 2035.

  "The United States, which currently imports around 20 percent of its total energy needs, becomes all but self-sufficient in net terms - a dramatic reversal of the trend seen in most other energy importing countries," it said. 

The forecasts by the IEA, which advises large industrialized nations on energy policy, were in sharp contrast to its previous reports, which saw Saudi Arabia remaining the top producer until 2035.

  "Energy developments in the United States are profound and their effect will be felt well beyond North America - and the energy sector," the IEA said in the annual long-term report, giving one of the most optimistic forecasts for U.S. energy production growth to date. 

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