A long-term energy outlook released on Nov. 12 predicts the U.S. will top Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world's leading oil producer by 2015. The report, published by the International Energy Agency, attributed this prediction to technological advances in shale drilling such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, which allow drillers to explore unreached shale plays. "United States performance has consistently overshot most projections to date and it is possible that more resources will be found and developed to sustain production at a higher level and for longer than we project," the IEA said in the report.

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