The world might be heading for an oil supply shortage following a steep drop in investments and a lack of fresh conventional discoveries, according to Saudi Aramco's chief executive. As Pascale Davies reports, Amin Nasser told a conference in Istanbul its premature to assume unconventional shale oil and alternative energy resources can be developed quickly to replace oil and gas.
The world might be heading for a shortage of oil. That's the warning from the boss of Saudi Aramco - the world's biggest crude producer. Chief executive Amin Nasser says low prices for the fuel have slashed investment in exploration and production. " If we look at the long-term situation of oil supplies the picture is becoming increasingly worrying… Investments in smaller increments such as shale oil will just not cut it," he said Monday. His comments coming at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KAROLIN SCHAPS, REUTERS ENERGY CORPORATES CORRESPONDENT, SAYING: "He said around one trillion dollars of oil money hadn't been invested over the past three years when oil prices had been falling and this is leading to a situation where companies aren't spending the money to cover more resources of oil and gas and hence leading to a situation where the market is becoming under supplied." Benchmark prices down again Monday after sharp falls last week. Brent Crude now almost a fifth lower than it was at the start of the year. That despite fresh moves by OPEC to limit output. The producers' cartel saying Monday that Nigeria and Libya may join existing efforts to cap production. They've been invited to a July 24 meeting of major oil nations in Russia.