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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute


DEI’s Christopher Davidson interviewed for Voice of America TV on the impact of the US ‘shale’ revolution on future relations with Saudi Arabia

(17 June 2013)

Christopher Davidson, Reader in Middle East Politics at Durham University was interviewed by Voice of America TV for article 'US Oil Surge Could Impact Mideast Geopolitics’.

Dr Christopher Davidson, Reader in Middle East Politics in Durham University’s School of Government and International Affairs,was interviewed by Voice of America TV in May 2013.

The article ‘US Oil Surge Could Impact Mideast Geopolitics’ and interview can now be viewed at

The article reacts to claims by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris that the United States will become energy self-sufficient in 20 years due to shale development, and prediction by analysts that the U.S. will therefore lose its dependence on Middle East imports.

Dr Davidson, author of the book After the Sheikhs: The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies, said:

"What we are also likely to see is the United States start to hedge its positions a bit better on the Gulf monarchies," Davidson said. "As it loses the dependent nature of this economic partnership, we are perhaps starting to see the U.S. already starting to reach out to opposition groups in Bahrain, for example, and increasingly in Saudi Arabia.

“In the midst of the Arab Spring, Davidson says many oil-rich Gulf monarchies are trying to pacify their populations with government handouts. Falling receipts from oil exports could trigger political upheaval.

"Within just a couple of years we'll have a public spending deficit in most of the Gulf monarchies"