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Though largely ignored by establishment media, the United States became the leading oil producer in the world in the fourth quarter of 2013, surpassing Saudi Arabia.

The milestone is consistent with the claims of a book published in 2005, “Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil,” by WND staff reporter Jerome R. Corsi and Craig Smith, the founder of Swiss America, a leading dealer in numismatic-quality gold.

The book, which was ridiculed by many industry analysts, argues against the “peak-oil theory” that predicted peak oil production had already been reached as the world was facing a diminishing quantity of oil available in the earth.

Corsi and Smith also predicted that oil, then trading below $50 a barrel, would trade at $100 a barrel, which has become an industry standard in recent years.

Oil expert Darren Wolfberg of BNP Paribas projected on Thursday that oil will trade in the $93 to $100 a barrel range in 2014.

Get Jerome Corsi’s “Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil” at WND’s Superstore.

In October 2013, PIRA, a leading U.S. energy-consulting firm, reported the United States had overtaken Saudi Arabia to become the world’s biggest oil producer as the jump in output from shale oil has led to the second biggest oil boom in history.

“It was the latest milestone for the U.S. oil sector caused by the shale revolution, which has upended global oil trade,” Reuters reported. “While still the largest consumer of fuel, the rise of cheap crude available to domestic refiners has turned the United States into a significant exporter of gasoline and distillate fuels.”

PIRA said the U.S. oil production growth rate is greater than the sum of the growth of the nine fastest growing countries combined and has covered most of the world’s net demand growth over the past two years.

“The U.S. position as the largest oil supplier in the world looks to be secure for many years,” PIRA said.

Arguing against “peak-oil” in “Black Gold Stranglehold,” Corsi and Smith noted that U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates of worldwide proven reserves of crude oil in 2005 totaled 1.28 trillion barrels, more than ever recorded despite the upward trend of world oil consumption since the mid-1970s.

Despite strong pushback from oil industry analysts, Corsi followed up the publication of “Black Gold Stranglehold” with a series of WND stories based on data predicting shale oil could be at the heart of a U.S. oil boom.

At the time, oil experts were going the opposite direction, predicting U.S. oil depletion was proceeding at an irreversible pace.

On April 13, 2008, Corsi reported in WND on the then-newly released reassessments by the U.S. Geological Survey, estimating a shale formation known as the Bakken Formation stretching from North Dakota into Montana may have an estimated 3 to 4.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil because of recent advances in production technologies.

An early December 2013 release of the U.S. Energy Information Agency’s “Annual Energy Outlook 2014” confirms that U.S. world leadership in oil production is expected to continue into the foreseeable future.

“Ongoing improvements in advanced technologies for crude oil and natural gas production continue to lift domestic supply and reshape the U.S. energy economy,” reported the EIA’s 2014 energy outlook.

The report noted the U.S. production of crude oil was projected to increase at an annual growth averaging 0.8 million barrels per day through 2016, when U.S. crude oil production is expected to reach 9.5 million barrels per day.

A key argument of “Black Gold Stranglehold” is that oil is not “fossil fuel” but rather an abiotic product that does not require the deterioration of dead tissue to form.

Corsi advanced the abiotic theory in a second book, “The Great Oil Conspiracy: How the U.S. Government Hid the Nazi Discovery of Abiotic Oil from the American People,” published in 2012.

In the “Great Oil Conspiracy,” Corsi argued German chemists had developed a series of equations, known as the Fischer-Tropsch equations, that identified the chemical reactions that enabled the Nazis to develop synthetic oil from coal. The chemical equations, Corsi claimed, describe the reactions occurring at deep-earth levels that form oil in an ongoing process that continues even today.

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