Shale oil: the next energy revolution

The global impact of shale oil could revolutionise the world’s energy markets over the next couple of decades, resulting in significantly lower oil prices, higher global GDP, changing geopolitics and shifting business models for oil and gas companies, according to new analysis from PwC.

The potential availability and accessibility of significant resources of shale oil around the globe - and the potential effect of increased shale oil production in limiting growth in global oil prices - has implications that stretch far beyond the oil industry.

Shale oil has the potential to reshape the global economy, increasing energy security, independence and affordability in the long term. However, these benefits need to be squared with broader environmental objectives at both the local and global level.

The effects of a lower oil price resonate along the entire energy value chain, and investment choices based on long-term predictions of a steady increase in real oil prices may need to be reassessed. The potential magnitude of the impact of shale oil makes it a profound force for change in energy markets and the wider global economy. It is therefore critical for companies and policy-makers to consider the strategic implications of these changes now.