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US becomes biggest oil producer in 2014, surpasses Saudi Arabia

The United States has overtaken Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest oil producer in 2014 while India has recorded the highest growth in energy consumption among major economies.

The US produced 15.9 per cent more oil in 2014 at 11.6 million barrels of oil per day to topple Saudi Arabia's 11.5 million bpd production, according to BP Plc's Statistical Review of World Energy released today.

Russia with 10.8 million bpd oil production was placed third. The US surpassed Russia as the world's largest producer of oil and gas, producing 1,250.4 million tons of oil and oil equivalent natural gas in 2014. This compared with Russia's 1,062 million tons of oil equivalent.

BP said the US shale revolution helped it overtake "Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest oil producer and surpass Russia as the world's largest producer of oil and gas."

On the consumption side, BP Statistical Review said world primary energy consumption slowed markedly, with growth of just 0.9 per cent in 2014, a lower rate than at any time since the late 1990s (other than in the immediate aftermath of last decade's financial crisis). Chinese growth in consumption slowed to its lowest level since 1998 as its economy rebalances away from energy intensive sectors, though China remained the world's largest growth market for energy.

India, however, posted a 7.1 per cent rise in energy consumption, the fastest among major economies and second only to Algeria's 8.4 per cent expansion.

It consumed 637.8 million tons of oil and oil equivalent natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, hydro electricity and renewable energy.

This consumption was dwarf in comparison to 2972.1 million tons of oil equivalent energy consumed in China and 2298.7 million tons in the US. It was also lower than Russia's 681.9 million tons but more than Japan's 456.1 million tons oil equivalent energy consumption.

While India's oil production declined 1.3 per cent at 895,000 bpd, consumption rose 3 per cent to 3.8 million bpd.

Though India is heavily dependent on imports to meet its oil needs, it is self-sufficient in refining capacity, housing a total capacity of 4.3 million bpd, fourth largest in the world behind the US (17.79 million bpd), China (14.09 million bpd) and Russia (6.3 million bpd).

Natural gas production dipped 5.9 per cent to 31.7 billion cubic meters.

BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley said: "The eerie calm that had characterised energy markets in the few years prior to 2014 came to an abrupt end last year. However, we should not be surprised or alarmed.

"These events may well come to be viewed as symptomatic of a broader shifting of the tectonic plates that make up the energy landscape, with significant developments in both the supply of energy and its demand. Our task as an industry is to meet today's challenges while continuing to invest to meet tomorrow's demand, safely and sustainably," he added.

US lawmaker calls for ending crude oil export
A top American lawmaker has called for ending the decades old policy of oil exports-- a move that could benefit countries including India. "Lifting the ban will bring an array of benefits to our nation: more jobs, more revenues, more production, more security, and more diplomatic leverage on the international stage," Senator Lisa Murkowski said. "You don't have to take my word for that, you can 
also look at the growing list of experts and studies that agree with my analysis," Murkowski said. 

Chairwoman of a key Senate Energy panel, Murkowski, released a report "Rendering Vital Assistance: Allowing Oil Shipments to US Allies," which she argues that even while Congress works to remove the export ban, the administration already has authority, explicitly delegated to it by Congress, to allow for greater oil exports.
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