When Boom is Bust: the Shale Oil Bonanza as a Symptom of Economic Crisis

6 Dec 2017   Shale Oil

The gradual climb in oil prices in recent weeks has revived hopes that US shale oil producers will return to profitability, while also renewing fevered dreams of the US becoming a fossil fuel superpower once again. Thus a few days ago my daily newspaper ran a Bloomberg article by Grant Smith which lead with this sweeping claim: “The U.S. shale revolution is on course to be the greatest oil and gas boom in history , turning a nation once at the mercy of foreign imports into a global player. That seismic shift shattered the dominance of Saudi Arabia and the OPEC cartel, forcing them into an alliance with long-time rival Russia to keep a grip on world markets.” I might have simply chuckled and turned the page, had I not just finished reading Oil and the Western Economic Crisis , by Cambridge University economist Helen Thompson. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) […]

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