Growth in US oil production has kept prices at “reasonable levels” despite the recent oil tanker attacks near the Strait of Hormuz and other supply risks around the world, International Energy Agency chief Fatih Birol said. “There is a substantial amount of oil coming from the United States, which puts a strong ceiling on oil prices,” Birol said in an interview Friday on the sidelines of the G20 energy ministerial meetings in Karuizawa, Japan.
“Growth from the United States is a welcome addition to oil markets, especially looking at from an oil security point of view and looking at affordability for oil importers, including Japan, Korea and other Asian importers.” The IEA’s June Oil Market Report forecast non-OPEC supply growth will rise to 2.3 million b/d in 2020, from 1.9 million b/d this year amid a surge in US shale and strong output from Brazil and Norway as new fields start up.
“According to our numbers, in five years’ time, the United States will be the largest exporter in the world,” Birol said.
“This is great news for consumers. Think about the fact we are seeing so many developments in the world: Venezuela, Iran, Libya, Nigeria and many [others]. Still, oil prices are staying at reasonable levels.”
The alleged attack on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz Thursday was a wake-up call to stakeholders in oil markets, Birol said. “We are seriously concerned about the recent attacks, and we are monitoring the situation very closely in consultation with our member governments. We are ready to act if and when it is necessary.”