Le rêve saoudien

IRVING, TEXAS – L’Arabie saoudite a de grandes ambitions : sauvegarder l’OPEP, réaliser son industrialisation et une diversification  de ses revenus, et préserver sa part de marché en pétrole brut, en produits pétroliers et en liquides de gaz naturel (LGN). Que ces ambitions se réalisent sera en grande partie déterminé par l’industrie américaine du schiste bitumeux.

La révolution américaine du pétrole de schiste a provoqué un clivage au sein de l’OPEP en fonction de la qualité du brut produit par ses membres. Les exportateurs de pétrole brut léger – dont l’Algérie, l’Angola et le Nigeria – ont perdu pratiquement toutes leurs parts de marché aux Etats-Unis, tandis que les exportateurs de brut plus acide ou plus lourd, dont l’Arabie saoudite et le Koweït, n’en ont que peu perdu.

Étant donné que l’essentiel du pétrole brut produit par les États du Golfe est du brut acide et que les excédents mondiaux sont principalement du brut léger, toute réduction de la production par l’Arabie saoudite et ses voisins échouerait à faire remonter le cours du pétrole et à rééquilibrer le marché pétrolier. La seule manière de le rééquilibrer – et d’empêcher une implosion de l’OPEP – serait de réduire la production du pétrole brut léger, y compris par les producteurs américains qui, de ce fait, perdraient des parts de marché. Dans ce cas, l’on pourrait s’attendre à ce que le cours du brut remonte assez rapidement.

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