The slippery slope of shale oil
December 22, 2014 9:47 PM Subscribe
Oil is getting cheaper. The price of a barrel of Brent crude is approaching $60, down from around $140 in 2008. The price drop is largely attributed to American shale oil, also called tight oil, production of which has increased from a few thousand barrels/day a decade ago to over 5 million barrels/day today, mainly coming from the Bakken, Permian and Eagle Ford shales. By the end of 2013, American tight oil accounted for 4.1% of global crude oil production. The International Energy Agency calls it a "supply shock", and according to the World Energy Council, the notion of "peak oil" has almost been forgotten [PDF, page 24]. While speculation continues over the motives behind OPEC's refusal to curb production, others worry that the drop in oil prices distorts economic and political decision making, discourages the development of renewable energy sources [may require registration], and may induce deflation. The BBC tallies up the winners and losers.
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