The United States expects the role of OPEC to diminish
as oil and natural gas reserves are developed in Africa and South America.
U.S. officials said Washington regards energy reserves in Latin America
and West Africa as a growing source of supply for the United States. They
said while these reserves will never replace those in the Middle East, the
United States will increasingly rely on African and South American oil and
"Significant increases in liquefied natural gas imports from West Africa
and Latin America along with new supplies from the Middle East, Russia and
North Africa are likely to meet our rising demands," John Brodman, deputy
assistant secretary for international energy policy at the U.S. Department
of Energy, said.
Brodman told the Senate subcommittee on International Economic Policy,
Export and Trade Promotion on Oct. 21 that
over the past decade non-OPEC oil production has limited OPEC's share of the
market in a trend that is expected to continue. He said Africa and Latin
America together could contribute up to seven million barrels a day of
additional oil to the market in the next 10-15 years. But the official
warned that West Africa remains a region of conflict and this could affect
production and investment.