NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 11/29/12 -- 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 Gulfport Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: GPOR) and Mcmoran Exploration Co. (NYSE: MMR).
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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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Gulfport Energy is an Oklahoma City-based independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company with its principal producing properties located along the Louisiana Gulf Coast. Shares of the company soared Wednesday after it provided an update on its Shugert 1-12H well in the Utica Shale. The well tested at an average sustained 18 hour rate of 7,482 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
McMoRan Exploration Co. is an independent public company engaged in the exploration, development and production of natural gas and oil in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico Shelf and onshore in the Gulf Coast area. Shares of the company have fallen sharply in the past week as a recent drilling update failed to provide any measurable flow test results.
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