NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Dec 6, 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 Cobalt International Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CIE) and Stone Energy Corporation (NYSE: SGY).
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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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Cobalt is an independent oil exploration and production company focusing on the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico and offshore Angola and Gabon. The company has recently announced a "significant oil discovery" at its North Platte prospect in the Gulf of Mexico. Shares of Cobalt have gained over 80 percent year-to-date.
Stone Energy is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, exploitation, development and operation of oil and gas properties located primarily in the Gulf of Mexico. As of December 31, 2011, its estimated proved oil and natural gas reserves were approximately 602 billions of cubic feet equivalents. The company produced an average of 41.8 MBoe (251 MMcfe) per day during the third quarter, an increase of 18 percent when compared to the third quarter of 2011.
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