World energy markets continue to shift.
Four decades after the Arab Oil Embargo, the OPEC oil cartel may be losing its influence on the United States, but increasing demand in Southeast Asia promises to keep producers busy worldwide.
The International Energy Agency this week provided another example of the changing global energy market when it projected that Southeast Asia's energy demand will jump more than 80 percent by 2035.
“Currently the region's per capita energy use is still very low, in part because 134 million people, or over one-fifth of the population, lack access to electricity,” the report stated.
As more of the population gains access to electricity and cars, the region's oil imports are expected to increase to more than 5 million barrels per day by 2035, which is expected make it the world's fourth-largest oil importer after China, India and the European Union, the report stated.
The increased demand is expected to lead the region to spend up to $240 billion on oil in 2035.
Demand is surging in Southeast Asia, China and India just as production is booming in the United States.
The world's largest oil importer for much of the past half-century, U.S. oil production is up 33 percent from 2006 to 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Increased domestic production has allowed the country to provide 60 percent of its crude oil demand in 2012, up from 40 percent in 2006.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the United States is on pace to overtake Russia this year as the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas.
The United States in July produced the equivalent of about 22 million barrels of oil and natural gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Russia has said it expected to produced 21.8 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2013, although The Wall Street Journal points out that it is difficult to verify the Russian numbers.
The oil industry is in a significant state of change, both domestically and internationally.
The rapid increase in domestic production could help the United States lessen its dependence on foreign oil and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
At the same time, oil will continue to be a global market.
If global oil demand — particularly in Asia — keeps pace with U.S. production, global prices could remain near their current range.
But if either demand or supply outpaces the other, prices will fluctuate.