The U.S. is poised to become the world's top oil-produc... The U.S. is poised to become the world's top oil-producing country next year, according to estimates. (Flickr).
Saudi Arabia is the world's top producer of oil, extracting approximately 11.6 million barrels every day. The oil takes care of approximately two-thirds of the kingdom's own energy needs and is the lynchpin of the country's lucrative exports.

So how is the oil-rich country planning for its energy needs in the future? By focusing on renewable energy.

Earlier this week, Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, a top spokesperson for Saudi Arabia, said that Saudi Arabia intends to generate 100 percent of its power from renewable sources, such as nuclear, solar, and low-carbon energies.

"Oil is more precious for us underground than as a fuel source," said the prince, whose country holds approximately 20 percent of the world's oil reserves, according to the International Energy Agency. "If we can get to the point where we can replace fossil fuels and use oil to produce other products that are useful, that would be very good for the world."

In related news, the U.S. is giving Saudi Arabia a run for the title of world's top oil-producing country, a boom that has left many experts surprised.

U.S. production of oil is on pace to rise 7 percent this year to a daily average of 10.9 million barrels. The Energy Department forecasts that production will continue its rise and average 11.4 million barrels per day in 2013.

"Five years ago, if I or anyone had predicted today's production growth, people who have thought we were crazy," Jim Burkhard, the head of joil markets research at IHS CERA tells The Huffington Post.

Should the projections hold, the U.S. will supplant Russia as the world's second-largest oil producer. Here's a look at the world's top oil-producing countries, according to Central Intelligence Agency statistics:

1. Saudi Arabia 11.6 million barrels per day
2. United States 10.9 million barrels per day
3. Russia 10.3 million
4. Iran 4.2 million (estimated)
5. China 4 million

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