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It's time to look at oil stocks to buy as the United States gets ready to surpass the world's biggest oil producers.
Earlier this month, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that the United States will jump past both Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil producer by 2015.
Oil production in the United States will rise from 9.2 million barrels a day in 2012 to 11.6 million in 2020.
For Saudi Arabia, that figure is expected to drop from 11.7 million in 2012 to 10.6 million in 2020. Russia will drop from 10.7 million barrels a day in 2012 to 10.4 million in 2020.
According to the IEA, the shale boom is the main driver of increased U.S. oil output, especially in North Dakota and Texas.
"It all began with the massive growth in the Bakken shale beginning in 2008, when the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) revealed that the now famous formation held nearly 4 billion barrels of recoverable oil," Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors wrote to his Oil & Energy Investor subscribers.
In 2011, the USGS estimated that recoverable reserves of crude oil in the Bakken actually totaled 11 billion barrels, up from the 2008 estimate.
"Now the Bakken is being eclipsed by an even more productive shale formation in southern Texas known as the Eagle Ford Shale," Moors said. "Often referred to as the Texan Bakken, oil production in the Eagle Ford oil jumped 60% in June from the same month the year before."
In fact, some of the most profitable oil stocks over the past few years have had ties to the Bakken Field in North Dakota and Montana and the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas. ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES), and Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp. (NYSE: KOG) all have operations in one or both of these locations.
U.S. output is expected to plateau by 2020, however. At that point the United States will lose its ranking as the top oil producer and relinquish the title back to the Middle East region by the start of the 2030s, says the IEA.
While the traditional oil behemoths were focusing on international oil fields, smaller oil companies were able to position themselves in these emerging American territories in North Dakota and Texas. The best oil stocks to buy now might not be household names, but they are now ready to reap huge gains from the American oil resurgence.
Here are two we like now...