The U.S. is projected to become a net oil exporter by 2050 by exporting more crude oil and petroleum products combined than it imports given certain conditions, according to the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
The condition for the U.S. to become a net oil exporter is for it to produce more crude oil and natural gas based on higher oil prices.
In 2019, the U.S. produced approximately 12 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil. Production is estimated to peak at 14 million bpd in the mid-2020s, before starting to decline in the mid-2040s.
The EIA, however, said that if the country finds more domestic crude oil resources, then it could become a net crude oil exporter in 2025 and maintain that status through 2050.
In this case, the U.S.' crude oil production would gradually increase from 12 million bpd in 2019 to 18 million bpd in 2026 and become higher still through to 2050, according to a statement by the EIA.
"Recent growth in U.S. crude oil production has been driven by the development of tight oil resources, primarily in the Southwest, which includes the Permian Basin that spans parts of western Texas and eastern New Mexico," the statement said.
The region is estimated to account for around 37% of total U.S. crude oil production from 2020 to 2050, according to the EIA.
By Ovunc Kutlu