Financial Times

Rise in US oil supplies haunts Opec talks
Financial Times

Advances in the techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, first applied to shale gas reserves, are now making it possible to develop US oil in reserves previously commercially unviable.

The US increased output of crude oil and other liquid hydrocarbons by 1.1m barrels a day during 2008-11. In that time, other countries that are not Opec members or former Soviet republics lost a net 200,000 barrels per day, according to the BP statistical review, a standard industry reference, published on Wednesday.

The rise of US shale oil, along with other sources such as Canada’s tar sands, is raising the prospect that Opec’s share of the global market for crude, and hence its influence over the price, could be undermined.

In Vienna, Ryan Lance, chief executive of ConocoPhillips, the third-largest US oil group by production, set out a vision of a global shale oil revolution to chill Opec members’ blood. The US was enjoying its first meaningful growth in oil production for 20 years, he said, and Conoco expected US shale liquids production to grow 150 per cent by 2020.

“Thanks to both shale and the Canadian oil sands, North America could become self-sufficient in oil …?by 2025, and even a net exporter,” he said.

Et pendant ce temps, le Québec laisse le train de la prospérité passé…