(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Sheikh Fahad Al-Dawood Al-Sabah, a Kuwaiti expert in oil strategies, on Saturday estimated the reserves of the unconventional shale oil in the United States at two trillion barrels.
"This is the largest such reserve in the world at least so far," he said in statements to KUNA, citing recent data by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the US Energy Institute (USEI).
"This amount of shale oil is eight times more than the conventional oil reserves in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 18 times that of Iraq and 21 times that of Kuwait," Sheikh Fahad noted.
The US has made a breakthrough in the exploitation of the shale oil in the recent years which constitute a strategic turning point in the global oil market in the two decades ahead.
"The US oil production saw a momentum leap in 2012, increasing by seven million barrels a day compared to the previous years," he stated, expecting the output to hit a new record high of 900,000 bpd next year.
Asked about the impact of the surge in the US oil production on the Gulf countries, Sheikh Fahad said the impact will be definitely negative in the long run since the oil-rich Gulf countries on exports to the US market as one of the world's largest energy consumers.
"But the impact is unlikely to be seen in the short as the US imports at present between eight million and nine million bpd so it cannot do without the Gulf oil," he opined.
The Gulf countries have the world's largest reserves of conventional crude oil estimated at 486.8 billion barrels or 35.7 percent of the world's total and 70 percent of the OPEC reserves, he revealed.
He called on the Gulf countries to stop overreliance on oil revenues and rely instead on real investment in such areas as industry and investment through partnership with leading global corporations.
In its annual World Energy Outlook last November, the IAE noted that the United States could see a surge in oil production and overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's leading oil producer within a decade but that lead will likely be temporary, and it still won't allow the United States to stop importing oil.