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America is expected to become the largest crude oil producer in the world by  2020, overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia.

It is expected to reduce its imports from 10million barrels a day to about  4million barrels within ten years, the International Energy Agency forecast.

It will become self-sufficient in about 2035 as a boom in shale gas output  and tougher mileage standards for cars squeeze out imports.

It is ‘a dramatic reversal of the trend seen in most other energy-importing  countries’, the IEA said.

‘Energy developments in the US are profound and their effect will be felt  well beyond North America and the energy sector.’

Despite the rising use of low-carbon energy sources, huge subsidies will keep  fossil fuels ‘dominant in the global energy mix’ for years, it added.

‘The recent rebound in U.S. oil and gas production, driven by upstream  technologies that are unlocking light tight oil and shale gas resources, is  spurring economic activity – with less expensive gas and electricity prices  giving industry a competitive edge.’

IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol told a news conference in London he believed  the United States would overtake Russia as the biggest gas producer by a  significant margin by 2015.

By 2017, it would become the world’s largest oil producer, he said.

Image: Oil Rigs via Shutterstock