The New Energy Revolution and the Gulf
November 11, 2014
An energy revolution fueled by the rapidly growing production of unconventional oil and gas is under way in the United States today, but its effects so far on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)—which still produces nearly a quarter of the world’s oil—have so far been strikingly limited. Nonetheless, it would be simplistic to claim that new North American production will barely affect the region. The U.S. boom has a profound strategic impact on the GCC. It feeds an existing narrative of a coming U.S. abandonment of the Gulf and a need to find alternatives to U.S. security partnerships. For the Gulf states, no ready alternatives are apparent. In part as a consequence, the Gulf states are increasingly proactive in the economics and politics of the surrounding states, which has its own impact on U.S. diplomatic and security policy in the Middle East.