At the following table of the Energy Information Administration you can see the richest countries in shale oil and shale gas reserves. The good news is that two of the three most energy hungry countries, and at the same time poor in conventional reserves, i.e. USA and China, are at the top of the list. The bad news is that the third hungry and poor player, i.e. the European Union, does not even appear in the list of the Top 10.
But as you can read at the following article of Business Insider, titled “Here Are The Breakeven Oil Prices For America’s Shale Basins”, October 2014, the production of shale oil and gas is very expensive when compared to conventional reserves. According to Business Insider the minimum selling price required to make shale oil production profitable is 75-77 dollars per barrel, maybe even higher.
Therefore at the current price levels shale production is stressed. It is said that after the deal for Iran’s nuclear program the price of oil could even drop to 35 dollars per barrel. It should be also taken into account that the reason Saudi Arabia increased her production in the previous months, squeezing oil prices, was not only to make it difficult for Russia and Iran to arm their allies in Syria and Iraq, but also to hurt the American shale companies, which face much higher production costs.
For the EIA table see “Shale oil and shale gas resources are globally abundant”, January 2014
For the Business Insider article see:
“Here Are The Breakeven Oil Prices For America’s Shale Basins”, October 2014,