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Feature: The most under reported story of 2013: U.S. oil boom

SOURCES:xinhua  DATE:2014-01-02 CLICKS:

By Matthew Rusling

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Behind all the drama in Washington that has grabbed U.S. headlines in 2013, there was one major story that was most under reported: the oil boom.

The U.S. is expected to become the world's top oil producer by 2015 on the shale oil boom, surpassing top energy producers including Saudi Arabia, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

"The increases are largely attributed to the development of the oil fields in Texas, North Dakota and the Gulf of Mexico," Gene Panasenko, a financial consultant and wealth manager at LPL Financial told Xinhua, adding that the boom will help the U.S. become more energy independent over the next two decades.

The story, however, has been overshadowed by other big news events including the re-election of U.S. President Barack Obama, autumn's government shutdown, and most recently, the U.S. healthcare rollout debacle.

"We feel that the reason these outstanding developments are not getting enough coverage is because of the government shutdown and Obamacare developing story," Shane H. Siederman, chartered financial consultant at Bay Ridge Financial Group, Inc., told Xinhua.

While the IEA forecast the surge will start drying up by 2020, much can happen in the next several years, and the benefits are expected to spill over into other industries.

Siederman noted the petroleum and coal industries have expanded each month since June, representing about 10 percent of manufacturing growth.

Some reports said over 3.2 percent of all manufacturing jobs last year were linked to the U.S. oil and natural gas surge, and forecasts for that number are expected to go to over 4 percent by 2025, Siederman noted.

The U.S. energy boom is also having a major ripple effect on the shipbuilding industry, with a spate of new supertankers under construction at U.S. shipyards and orders pending for several more, he said.

The most recent development in the energy sector was Monday's announcement that Berkshire Hathaway is buying Phillips Specialty Products Inc. from Phillips 66 for 1.4 billion U.S. dollars in stock.

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