Saudi Arabia declares war on the US shale gas industry

Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi talks to journalists before a meeting of OPEC oil ministers at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna November 27, 2014. Gulf oil producers led by Saudi Arabia are expected to press the case on Thursday for not yet cutting OPEC output, despite calls from some members of the group to bolster sagging prices by removing surplus crude from the market. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter BaderSaudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi talks to journalists before a meeting of OPEC oil ministers.

The Middle East’s oil cartel OPEC has declared war on the US’s shale gas industry as new data from Saudi Arabia shows that the country is committing considerable firepower to the battle.

Saudi Arabian oil exports reached their highest level in 12 years in March, while production was at record levels.

The equivalent of 7.89 million barrels a day were sold overseas by the Kingdom in March, up from 7.32 million in February and 10% higher than a year earlier.

The Kingdom produced 10.29 million barrels of oil per day in March, according to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI). That was more than any other nation in the world.

Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations are trying to cripple the US’s shale gas industry by flooding the market with oil and driving down prices to unsustainable levels for the many small operators. So far the tactic seems to be working, with the oil rig count in the US crashing.

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