Russia more concerned about shale oil drillers in US than Pentagon
Russia's Big Worry Is Not What the Pentagon Thinks but What Shale Frackers Will Do to Oil PricesThe shale drillers are weakening the enemies of the US in ways they cannot really respond to. They deserve more credit than they have been getting for the strategic value they have brought to the US.
For Russia, almost three-fourths of all export revenues and over half its national budget comes from selling oil & gas. The problem is that, according to the World Bank, Russia needs oil at $100 per barrel to balance its domestic budget and fund its military and foreign ambitions. It’s expensive to buy modern weapons, including the missiles Russia has deployed across the NATO frontier. And it’s expensive to meddle in foreign nations whether by deploying troops in the Ukraine and Syria, or funneling “gray” money to bad actors from Africa to South America.
Russia is not alone. With only a couple of exceptions, OPEC’s members all need for oil to sell anywhere from $80 to $150 per barrel to support their domestic and foreign spending. Iran is betting on its future growth coming from oil exports. And ISIS, as has been widely reported, funds its fighters and terrorists with sales from captured oil fields.