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Shale energy production spike revolutionising energy sector

Published on Nov 18, 2012 12:07 PM

LONDON (AFP) - A spike in shale oil and gas production is revolutionising the energy sector and risks weighing on prices of conventional crude, according to industry experts.

A forecast last week by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that the United States would become the world's biggest oil producer by 2017 thanks to an explosion in hard-to-reach energy trapped in shale, or sedimentary rock, has triggered debate among companies and consumers.

"We are facing a revolution, from North America," Mr Christophe de Margerie, chairman and chief executive of French energy giant Total told delegates attending the recent Oil & Money industry conference in London.

Mr De Margerie stressed that the industry's biggest danger was no longer a drop in oil reserves, but rather technological limitations preventing exploitation of energy resources that can serve the world's needs for "decades and decades."

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