We are all well informed on the shale energy revolution and the impact it’s had on the U.S. economy (imagine the state of the U.S. economy if we did not have affordable energy as a result of shale production). Now, the independent International Energy Agency (IEA) is saying the U.S. will be the world’s largest oil producer by 2017 and a net oil exporter by 2030. Looking back only a few years, the U.S. was on a several decades long slippery slope of neverending dependence on too much imported oil. Technology seems to have completely turned the ship around, literally.

The question ahead is…will federal policy embrace further unconventional development and encourage investment or slow down unconventional production as has been done with conventional onshore and offshore oil and natural gas production?

Reuters writes that the United States will overtake Saudia Arabia and Russia as the world’s top oil producer by 2017. The IEA said it saw a continued fall in U.S. oil imports with North America becoming a net oil exporter by around 2030 and the United States becoming almost self-sufficient in energy by 2035.

“Energy developments in the United States are profound and their effect will be felt well beyond North America – and the energy sector,” the IEA said in the annual long-term report, giving one of the most optimistic forecasts for U.S. energy production growth to date.