Global shale revolution at least 10 years away, Al Arabiya WEF panel hears

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The shale revolution seen in the U.S. is at least 10 years away from happening outside North America, according to an energy expert speaking at an Al Arabiya panel at the World Economic Forum in Jordan.

Aldo Flores-Quiroga, secretary-general of the International Energy Forum (IEF), said the fracking technique of extracting oil and petroleum from rock marked a “game-changer”.


“It is changing the way oil and gas are produced, the way oil is priced. It is changing the pattern of trade for North America," he said.

But while the geology is favorable, the shale revolution is some way off in other parts of the world, Flores-Quiroga said.

“There might be a second stage which is the spread of this revolution to the rest of the world,” he said. “That will take at least some 10 years; those are the optimistic projections on what can happen in the rest of the world.”

Watch the Al Arabiya panel discussion below

Research into geology, establishing regulatory frameworks and addressing environmental concerns are all prerequisites to the spread of the shale revolution, Flores-Quiroga added.

“It requires much more knowledge about the geology in other continents, which by the way is favorable, and a set of policies and regulations that might enable the investments at the scale that we are seeing them in the U.S.”

It is not a “foregone conclusion” that the shale revolution will happen in other regions, Flores-Quiroga cautioned.

Environmental concerns have the potential to “slow down the revolution or even stop it”, he said.

“There are legitimate concerns about how water will be used, about water availability in general, about the environmental footprint in general,” he said.

“It is not right now clear that we will see an increase with the size and the speed that we have seen in the U.S. for the production of unconventional oil and gas.”

Flores-Quiroga was speaking at a panel called ‘Energy: Global Transformations, Regional Impact’ at the World Economic Forum.

Nadine Hani, senior presenter at Al Arabiya, moderated the event. Other panel members included Anas Alhajji, chief economist at NGP Energy Capital Management; Faisel Gergab, board member at Libya’s National Oil Corporation, and Robert Kaplan, chief geopolitical analyst at Stratfor.

Watch the Al Arabiya panel discussion below

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