New Oil Reserves Pose Threat to OPEC Dominance

(Arab News-Saudi Arabia) S. Rashid Husain - Large new, conventional and unconventional reserves in North America, and elsewhere, are questioning the dominant role of OPEC in meeting the global oil thirst. These new developments have also sapped the urgency to develop the Saudi kingdom's own reserves - further - at this stage. Khalid Al-Falih, the Aramco CEO, last week told the Energy Dialogue organized by the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center that the debate on energy policy had been "turned upside down" recently by growing oil and natural gas supplies. Unconventional oil developments are dominated by oil sands in the U.S. and Canada with 2011 global production amounting to 2.3 million bpd or equivalent to production of non-OPEC member Norway. And in the meantime, rising conventional output from Brazil and Iraq are also contributing significantly to the emerging global energy landscape. In addition, a technology-led surge in North American shale gas production has created a global gas glut over the last few years, reducing the U.S. reliance on Middle Eastern gas imports. The U.S. shale gas boom has virtually eliminated the need for U.S. liquefied natural gas imports for at least two decades. And it has reduced Russia's influence over the European natural gas market and diminished the petro-power of gas producers in the Middle East.

2011-12-01 00:00:00

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