DAEGU, South Korea Oct 16 Rising oil and gas
production and improving energy efficiency in the United States
could slash its oil imports in half by the end of 2020 from
levels seen two years ago, the West's energy watchdog said on
The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) earlier
this month said the United States would overtake Russia next
year to become the world's largest oil producer thanks to its
shale oil boom.
Adding that development to energy savings from investments
in efficiency will cut the need of the world's largest oil
consumer to rely on imported oils, the IEA said. Earlier this
month, the U.S. government said the country had already ceded
its ranking as top global oil importer to China.
In the report released on Tuesday at the World Energy
Congress in South Korea, the IEA said the United States has
taken steps toward becoming one of the most energy efficient
members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) by 2020.
Global energy efficiency markets around the world drew
investment of up to $300 billion in 2011, a level on par with
global investments in renewable energy or fossil-fuel power
generation, the IEA noted in the report.
In 2010, IEA economies avoided burning 1.5 billion tonnes of
oil equivalent thanks to efficiency improvements since 1974.
(Reporting by Jane Chung and Meeyoung Cho; Additional reporting
by Florence Tan; Editing by Tom Hogue)