The Paris-based International Energy Agency on Monday projected that the U.S. would become the world's top oil producer by 2020, surpassing Saudi Arabia, the reigning king of the oil market. The IEA said the advent of fracking — a controversial drilling technique that has unlocked millions of barrels of oil and natural gas previously trapped in shale rock — had dramatically bolstered the U.S.'s domestic energy supplies and would make the U.S. completely energy-independent by 2035. The development could have profound implications for the global economy and international relations, so much of which is dominated by the U.S.'s dependence on foreign oil, particularly from the Middle East.
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