Global demand for Saudi Arabian oil has been continuously dropping, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says.
In open letters to high-ranking Saudi officials published on Sunday, Prince Alwaleed, a nephew of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, expressed alarm over the fact that “92 percent of the government budget relies on oil” revenues.
“The world’s reliance on OPEC oil, especially the production of Saudi Arabia, is in a clear and continuous drop,” he wrote in a letter, which addressed to Ali al-Naimi, the Saudi Arabian minister of petroleum and mineral resources.
The prince added that the threat from shale gas is “definitely coming”, and pointed out recent progress in this field in North America and Australia.
Shale gas is natural gas that is found trapped within shale formations and is extracted by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — pumping water, chemicals and sand at high pressure into rock to release it.
“Revenue diversification is a must, and that necessitates a clear vision that should be implemented immediately,” said Prince Alwaleed, one of the world’s richest men with an estimated fortune of more than $20 billion.
He also called on Saudi authorities to prepare plans to generate nuclear and renewable energy to “reduce local consumption of oil as soon as possible”.