Prince Alwaleed Warns Shale Revolution Threatens Saudi Economic Stability

Whilst Saudi Arabia continues to state that it is not at all worried by the increasing production driven by the US shale revolution, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, the billionaire businessman who is CEO and owner of the Kingdom Holding Company, has told Canada’s The Globe and Mail newspaper that growing shale output in the West poses a genuine threat to his country’s economic stability and future survival.

He states that not only are new shale discoveries a threat to Saudi Arabia, but to “any oil-producing country in the world,” requiring urgent attention in order to develop diverse new sources of economic output as a means to secure long-term stability.

“It is a pivot moment for any oil-producing country that has not diversified. Ninety two percent of Saudi Arabia’s annual budget comes from oil. Definitely it is a worry and a concern.”

It seems however that the rest of the royal family do not hold his concerns after recently claiming that they welcome the increase in US shale production, believing that it offers no threat to their economy, and requires no cut in oil production on their behalf in order to support prices.

Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz said that, “we need to make sure that the world economy comes out decisively on a growth pattern and, if that can be established, I think that the world economic growth will be sufficient to handle growth from all sorts – shale oil, shale gas, tight oil and including renewable.”

Alwaleed, refusing to give in, has said that he will use every channel available to him in his efforts to convince the government that shale poses a very serious threat.

“I will make them get it; there is no doubt about that. I’ll make them get it. It is matter of survival. There is no choice but to get it. I will keep pushing until they do.

The majority of Saudi Arabians get it. We will mobilise the media; mobilise the people to put maximum pressure on the government to do things to rectify the problem.”

This piece is cross-posted from with permission.

One Response to "Prince Alwaleed Warns Shale Revolution Threatens Saudi Economic Stability"

  1. EzioP1   November 25, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Threats to oil producing countries are many, the shale is just a new producing technology, but there is also the hydrogen as a new source for cars energy, there are also new emerging markets China, India, etc. that although they are planning for oil self sufficiency, hence becoming Saudi and Arab Emirates competitors, it will take years for them to get there. Meanwhile the Saudi and the Arab Emirates have sufficient time to fund R&D for new oil production technology. Another way to reduce the oil threats is to move faster in their PIL differentiation to augment it by new businesses avoiding the sole PIL dependency from oil. They cannot rest on their laurels, the oil only.