Business, Economics and Jobs

Oil: Who needs the Middle East?


Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva shows his hands, dirty with the first extraction of pre-salt oil in the Tupi oil field basin, Oct. 28, 2010.


Antonio Scorza

Humans, and the economies they produce, are ever thirsty for oil.

So naturally the hunt is on to quench this seemingly insatiable demand.

According to a new report by the International Energy Agency, that search will increasingly focus away from the Middle East and toward North and South America.

Specifically, that means Canada, the U.S., Brazil, and Colombia.

  • Canada, America's largest oil supplier, will squeeze another 1.3 million barrels a day out of its oil sands.
  • Brazil's new offshore fields are expected to produce a million barrels a day.
  • The U.S. will up production by 500,000 a day, due mainly from increases in oil shale fields in Texas and North Dakota, the agency reports.
  • Colombia will add 300,000 barrels a day as guerilla activity lessens.

Outside of the Americas, the I.E.A. says Iraq, UAE and Angloa will also pump out more crude between now and 2016, the period of this latest forecast. And OPEC will remain a key supplier, too (there's still a lot of oil there, of course).

Forty percent of the global demand for oil will come from — surprise, surprise — China. Other countries in Asia and the Middle East will also need more oil (demand in both the U.S. and Europe is expected to be flat).

Oil prices have risen about 25 percent the past year, thanks to unrest in the Middle East and growing demand in China and elsewhere.