KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 (Bernama) — The global shale gas and oil development can set a new order in oil trade worldwide in the near future, according to the 2014/2015 Economic Report. Shale gas refers to natural gas that is trapped within shale formations. Shales are fine-grained sedimentary rocks that can be rich sources of petroleum and natural gas. The report is issued in conjunction with the tabling of the 2015 Budget in Parliament Friday by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also Finance Minister. The report, released by the Ministry of Finance Friday, said although the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) remained the largest oil producer, the situation could change in the future as producers around the world increasingly tap shale gas and oil.
“The world’s energy sources like North America (the US and Canada) and Australia are set to overtake Qatar as the largest global supplier of liquefied natural gas. “The role of OPEC in balancing the oil market through supply could also be eroded,” the report said. OPEC produces 40 per cent of the world’s oil production. The report also said global consumption of oil and gas would likely remain stable and there was no sharp hike in global oil prices this year, despite conflicts in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The more stable global oil price is attributed to the significant increase in the production of shale gas and oil, particularly in the US, the world’s largest oil consumer.