NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 30, 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 Seadrill Ltd. (NYSE: SDRL) and Hercules Offshore, Inc. (NASDAQ: HERO).
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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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Seadrill is a leading offshore deepwater drilling company that operates a versatile fleet of 67 units. The company has recently announced that it has reached a 65.95 percent ownership stake in Asia Offshore Drilling Ltd. Seadrill reported a net income of $216 million in the third quarter of 2012, compared to a net income of $554 million in the second quarter.
Hercules Offshore provides shallow-water drilling and marine services to the oil and natural gas exploration and production industry globally. The company reported revenues increased to $184.9 million in third quarter of 2012, compared to $163 million in the third quarter of 2011. Shares of Hercules have surged over 12 percent in the past week.
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