Posts Tagged gas
The American consumer might get some relief at the gas pump this summer. A sluggish U.S. economy, prolonged fears about the eurozone, and U.S. crude supplies reaching a 22-year high have all contributed to a downward trend for crude oil prices. Much of the pricing of oil in recent months has to do with geopolitical factors, says Aldo Flores-Quiroga, the recently elected secretary general of the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum. He speaks with Arabic Knowledge@Wharton about fears over oil prices and supply amid further sanctions on oil producer Iran, and the impact of continued outages at energy producers.
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Bala Balachandran, the J. L. Kellogg Distinguished Professor of accounting and information management at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, wonders how the commercial development of shale gas will forever alter Gulf economies.
“Oil reserves here are good for only 40 more years,” Balachandran tells Arabic Knowledge@Wharton. “Shale gas reserves are something like 500 years. So if that becomes economically viable, the barrel of crude oil is going to go down to $US15 dollars in three years. Then what happens to the economy here? Is there an alternative strategic plan? This is something they have to think about.”
Balachandran acknowledges that Arab Gulf countries are still flush with cash, and are investing into alternative energy technology. But technology isn’t enough by itself, he notes, nor does being wealthy help innovation.
“When you’re affluent, you are not motivated to change,” he says. “When your survival is threatened, you’ll come forward.”
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