The US could be the world’s top oil producer by the autumn according to Scott Sheffield, the chairman of the major shale producer Pioneer Natural Resources.
Speaking to CNN Money, Sheffield says he expects US oil production to exceed
the 11 million barrels per day (bpd) threshold in three or four months’ time. This would likely put it ahead of the two other big producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia, which are currently producing 10.6 million and 10.1 million bpd respectively. While production increases from these countries look likely, it remains to be seen how soon and how much extra oil can be delivered.
Sheffield also expects the upward curve of US oil production to continue into the coming years. Speaking at the OPEC International Seminar in Vienna, Austria, he said:
“We’ll be at 13 [million bpd] very quickly.”
He also said he believes production could even reach 15 million bpd in several years’ time.
While many shale producers suffered greatly from the last crash in oil prices, many made efficiency savings, emerging much stronger than before and ready to benefit from the recovery in oil prices. ExxonMobil, the energy giant that supplied Mobil UK stockists, also saw the benefits in US shale when it invested heavily in the prolific Permian Basin.
In terms of oil prices, Sheffield says he believes a price between $60 and $80 strikes a good compromise between returns for producers and the cost for consumers, such as drivers in the US.