The rapid oil and gas development taking place in North America will cause the United States to become a major exporter of natural gas and shift the global energy system over the next several decades, according to the 2012 World Energy Outlook recently released by the International Energy Agency.
The IEA says the United States will be a net exporter of natural gas by 2020 and be almost self-sufficient in energy by 2035, according to the report. As a result, oil exports from the Middle East will mainly be going to Asia by 2035.
For the United States, becoming the world's largest oil producer before 2020 could dramatically impact the nation's economy, creating millions of jobs and hundreds of billions in revenues, Forbes reported. But the fact that the United States is becoming a net producer of oil and gas, instead of a net consumer, has yet to be "fully absorbed."
"The bottom line is that the energy world has changed in a fundamental way that has yet to be absorbed by the punditocracy, or incorporated in policy," the article stated. "In fact, everything policymakers thought they knew was true has been completely reversed by the march of technology."
The IEA also said renewable energy will become the world's second-largest source of electricity by 2015 and become a primary source by 2035 if subsidies are continued.