Saudi Arabia ‘next frontier’ in shale revolution?

FrackingWastewater102214Saudi Aramco has said  it is to triple its investment in shale gas exploration in spite of oil prices at multi-year lows.

Speaking at an investment conference in Riyadh, chief executive of Aramco, Khalid Al-Falih said for the first time he could say publicly that the company had already earmarked $3 billion for shale gas exploration but has set aside a further $7 billion of investment. Al-Falih added that he sees Saudi Arabia as the “next frontier” in the shale revolution, with the country predicted to have up to the fifth largest shale gas reserves in the world, and predicted that shale gas could have an important role in the country’s future energy mix.

He said the US success had inspired Saudi Arabia to explore its own resources and technology used by the American shale boom would give Aramco the technical capability to do so, stating that it would be impossible “without US innovation.”

When discussing oil prices and the markets, Al-Falih insisted there was no Saudi plan to “kill” US shale, asserting that the market could not and should not be dictated by one individual interest. He described shale production as “welcome and needed” to help meet the increasing global energy demand.However, the Aramco chief accepted that changes in oil prices are necessary, while he declined to give a specific price Al-Falih indicated that prices above $100 per barrel represents an artificial high and below $50 per barrel is too low and said he remains confident  the market will adjust through supply and demand.

This article originally appeared in the Saudi Gazette

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