West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude prices fell nearly 46% over the 12-month period to end 2014 at USD 53.27 per barrel. In addition, at the end of the year, the secular, cyclical and seasonal drivers of the crude market appeared uniquely synchronized to support a negative outlook for near-term oil prices.

But the world is still going to continue to consume both oil and gas. Currently, the U.S. and Canada may be at the forefront of unconventional oil and gas production, in particular from shale, however, there is huge potential for such unconventional resources in other areas globally which, so far, remains largely un-tapped.

Top 10 Countries with Technically Recoverable Shale Oil Resources (Billion Barrels)

Source: EIA, 10 June 2013

About the Author:
Thomas Butcher is an independent writer, researcher and consultant focusing on strategic materials, in particular metals. With 35 years of experience in the financial world, he has lectured and spoken at conferences around the world. Amongst other things, he currently writes a Letter from North America for the Minor Metals Trade Association's bi-monthly publication The Crucible, and was lead author of the chapter on gallium (used in semiconductors) in the British Geological Survey's recently published Critical Metals Handbook.

The article above is an opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of MV Index Solutions or its affiliates.