(RIA Novosti – WASHINGTON, September 13, 2013) The United States will overtake Russia in liquid fuel production this quarter, strengthening a US return to prominence as a global fuel powerhouse after years of decline, US media reported this week, citing an energy industry report.
Russia currently produces more liquid oil and gas, pumping out 10.81 million barrels per day (bpd) versus America’s 10.28 million bpd this quarter, Reuters said, citing the monthly Oil Market Report from the Paris-based International Energy Agency.
But when US production of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel are taken into account then the US total is forecast to reach 11.2 million bpd this quarter, it added.
Marketwatch reported separately that without biofuels in the equation, Russia would still be the leading liquid fuel producer outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
US biofuel production increased by nine percent between January and August, reaching over 935,000 bpd while Russian production of biofuels is “negligible,” Reuters said.
The increase in American liquid fuel production is attributed not only to an increase in biofuels but also to the success of new technologies such as fracking and horizontal drilling, which have granted access to hitherto difficult to reach oil reserves in states such as Texas and North Dakota, Dow Jones Business News reported.
Even as the US supplants Russia as the world’s number two overall producer of liquid fuels however, one factor remains stable: OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia is still number one, the reports said.