Related Articles
Leaders
Forward article link
Share PDF with colleagues

Swing states

Is American tight oil really now the world’s swing supplier?

You can almost guess how the crude market moved in the last couple of months by looking at Baker Hughes's weekly rig data. More rigs in play? Oil firmed. Fewer? Crude dropped. American tight oil's remarkable rise in recent years transformed the global supply picture. But, along with Opec's reluctance to cut production to prop up prices in the past two years, tight oil also changed ideas about energy security. Before tight oil boomed, balancing the market was the job of Saudi Arabia. In an emergency-a sudden supply shock-or during a damaging price spike, the unwritten agreement between the International Energy Agency (IEA), whose members maintain an emergency inventory to cope with an inter

Also in this section
The IEA is now much more bearish on 2018 than Opec
15 December 2017
The latest forecasts from the IEA and Opec offer very different pictures of the oil market next year
Opec: The rollover
14 December 2017
The cuts were extended—but with a built-in escape hatch and implicit threat to other producers
Opec's Venezuelan supply problem
8 December 2017
It's hard to see how the Opec-non-Opec agreement would survive a steep decline in Venezuelan oil output in 2018