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U.S. energy behemoth ExxonMobil Corporation (XOM - Analyst Report) expects oil and natural gas output in North America to grow by 45% over the coming three decades.

The U.S. shale formations, Canadian oil sands projects and the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) are primarily responsible for the increased yield. The easy accessibility and relatively economical production have attracted several oil majors including ExxonMobil to increase investments in North America.

North America imported 35% of its oil in 2010 and had flat production for decades. But several technological progresses have been made to tap oil and gas from shale-rock formations as well as extracting oil or gas from oil sands and deep-water prospects in North America. These efforts have changed the energy outlook for the region.

On the other hand, the U.S. energy consumption, on the whole, is likely to flatten eventually and fall by 5% during 2010 to 2040. ExxonMobil forecasts that the region would become a net energy exporter by around 2025, aided by the combination of rising output and sluggish demand. The countries in the Asia Pacific region are expected to be the main importers by 2040 as their demands escalate.

In November 2012, the monthly U.S. oil yield was more than 7 million barrels a day, for the first time in two decades. As per the International Energy Agency, the U.S. is expected to beat Saudi Arabia as a crude producer in the coming 10 years.

Further, it has been observed that growing dependence on natural gas and renewable sources of energy such as wind will decrease carbon emissions by 25% by 2040. During this time, the emissions are also expected to slide to their lowest level since the 1970s.

ExxonMobil holds a Zacks Rank #3, which is equivalent to a short-term Hold rating. However, there are other stocks in the energy sector - Enerplus Corporation (ERF - Snapshot Report), Range Resources Corporation (RRC - Analyst Report) and EPL Oil & Gas, Inc. - which carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and are expected to perform impressively over the next few months.

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