NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 16, 2012) - 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 Enerplus Corp. (NYSE: ERF) (TSX: ERF) and Royale Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROYL).
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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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Enerplus is a North American energy producer with a diversified asset base of high-quality, low-decline oil and gas assets complemented by growth assets in resource plays with superior economics. During the third quarter of 2012 the company averaged production of 81,573 BOE/day, an increase of 11 percent from the year-ago quarter.
Royale Energy owns wells and leases located mainly in the Sacramento Basin and San Joaquin Basin in California. In December 2011, Royale Energy acquired 100,480 acres on the North Slope in a lease sale by the State of Alaska. Shares of the company soared 21 percent Wednesday after it was reported that ConocoPhillips has purchased acreage adjacent to the company's Colville River holdings in Alaska for $171.93 per acre.
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