NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 11/15/12 -- An increased focus on lowering the nation's dependence on foreign oil has seen production in the U.S. soar to 15 year highs. The International Energy Agency in its annual World Energy Outlook predicts that by 2020 the U.S. will be the world's top oil producer. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Oil & Gas Industry and provides equity research on Pengrowth Energy Corp. (NYSE: PGH) (TSX: PGF) and Penn West Petroleum Ltd. (NYSE: PWE) (TSX: PWT).
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Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have contributed to the current shale-oil boom in the U.S. The IEA predicts oil production in the U.S. in 2020 will peak at 11.1 million barrels a day, compared to 8.1 million barrels a day in 2011. U.S. oil imports are forecasted to decline to four million barrels a day from the current rate of 10 million barrels a day within the next decade.
"By around 2020, the United States is projected to become the largest global oil producer" and will surpass Saudi Arabia for a period of time, the IEA said. "The result is a continued fall in U.S. oil imports [currently at 20% of its needs] to the extent that North America becomes a net oil exporter around 2030."
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Pengrowth Energy is a dividend-paying, intermediate Canadian producer of oil and natural gas. The company's assets include Swan Hills light oil, Cardium light oil and the Lindbergh thermal bitumen project. The company has recently acquired additional Lochend Cardium assets with production capability of approximately 650 boe per day.
Penn West is one of the largest conventional oil and natural gas producers in Canada. Penn West operates a significant portfolio of opportunities with a dominant position in light oil in Canada. For the third quarter of 2012 the company reported record oil production of 94,284 boe per day, an increase of 26 percent when compared to the year-ago quarter.
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