Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal warns the kingdom is losing ground on oil production due to shale oil discoveries and fracking techniques in the U.S. and Asia. The situation is so dire in his eyes that he has even suggested Saudi Arabia forego increased dependence on oil “and start investing in alternative energy sources like solar.”
The United States’ growing share of world oil production has been putting increased pressure on Saudi Arabia in recent months. On May 29 Breitbart News reported that U.S. production is growing so fast that “the U.S. will actually be the world’s top energy producer by 2020.”
Now Alwaleed is warning Saudi Arabia must diversify or it could end up in trouble, financially speaking.
Business Insider carried portions of a letter written to Saudi oil minister Ali al Naimi, in which Alwaleed took issue with Naimi’s dismissal of the threat posed by shale oil and fracking techniques:
With all due respect to your Highness’ viewpoint about shale gas and that it poses no danger to the Saudi economy at “the present time,” I was hoping that your Highness would also shed light and focus on the danger of this matter in the “not-so-distant,” especially [now] that America and some Asian countries made big discoveries in shale gas extraction which will affect the oil industry around the world in general and Saudi Arabia in particular.
Later, Alwaleed calls for a move from investments in oil to investments in solar energy.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.