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Saudi Billionaire Sweats Shale Revolution


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A Saudi Prince isn’t hiding his fear of the rising North American energy juggernaut, and is publicly calling for his country to start working on diversifying its economy away from a near-total dependence on crude. This isn’t the first time that billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal has aired these concerns, and this persistence underscores his belief that the House of Saud is ignoring American shale at its own peril. The Globe and Mail reports:



[Prince al-Waleed bin Talal issued] a rare public challenge to Saudi Arabia’s political elite, whom he believes are recklessly ignoring economic threats posed by shale oil discoveries in the United States.


The Prince makes this point repeatedly in an interview with The Globe and Mail, one of his first since he rattled global oil markets in July by disclosing on his Twitter account a letter to Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister. The missive warned that the American shale oil boom would soon threaten demand for crude from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.




Shale isn’t just squeezing the Saudis, it’s threatening every OPEC nation whose national budget relies so heavily on oil revenue. Already we’re seeing American production replacing OPEC oil—last year, OPEC liquid fuels production contracted by nearly a million barrels per day, a loss that was more than offset by American growth.



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