US seen overtaking Saudi, Russia in oil production in 10 years

A continuing boom in the production of hydrocarbons is set to push the United States past Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil producer, media reports said today.

High prices and new drilling methods are helping to push production of crude oil and other liquid hydrocarbons in US, which is expected to rise 7 per cent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day.

US energy department officials expect the country's oil production to be around 11.4 million barrels by next year, just below Saudi Arabia's current output of 11.6 million bpd.

At this rate, analysts expect the US to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia and emerge as the ''new Middle East'' in another decade.

Oil production in the US, which has been increasing for the past four years, saw a spurt this year, which is also the biggest single-year gain since 1951.

But, with oil consumption at around 18.7 million barrels per day, the US still has a big supply gap to fill.