US crude oil production will come close to its record high by 2016 as the energy boom continues to reshape the U.S. economy, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Monday in a new report.
Domestic crude oil production will grow annually by about 800, 000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.5 million bpd in 2016, just below the historical high of 9.6 million bpd achieved in 1970, according to an early release of the EIA's Annual Energy Outlook for 2014.
While oil production is projected to level off and then slowly decline after 2020, natural gas production will increase steadily, growing 56 percent between 2012 and 2040, said the EIA in the report with updated projections for U.S. energy markets through 2040.
As shale gas production continues to grow, the EIA expects the natural gas to become the largest source of U.S. electric power generation by 2035.
"Advanced technologies for crude oil and natural gas production are continuing to increase domestic supply and reshape the U.S. energy economy as well as expand the potential for U.S. natural gas exports," EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said in a statement.
"Growing domestic hydrocarbon production is also reducing our net dependence on imported oil and benefiting the U.S. economy as natural-gas-intensive industries boost their output," he added.
With strong growth in domestic oil and gas production, imports of liquid fuels will fall to 25 percent of total U.S. consumption by 2016, down from 40 percent in 2012, the EIA said.
Total U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will also remain below their 2005 level of 6 billion metric tons through 2040, as the country improves energy efficiency and shifts away from carbon-intensive fuels.