The growth of shale oil production in the United States may not hit Saudi Arabia's prominence in the global energy markets as quickly as previously thought, analysts told CNBC.
As 2013 draws to a close, research houses have looked at the future path of the world's largest oil exporter and released a slew of renewed projections.
(Read more: US to surpass Saudi as top oil producer by 2016: IEA)
"We find concerns overstated, due to limitations on shale growth outside of the U.S. and still-fast growing demand for crude," HSBC Global Research wrote in a research note on Tuesday.
However, a surge in global shale output could become "a big deal for MENA (Middle East and North Africa)" in light of rising break even oil prices, it added.
A sustained drop in the sales tag per barrel would certainly be detrimental to the monarchy in Saudi Arabia, which derived 92 percent of its revenues from the commodity in 2012, despite an ongoing diversification effort to stimulate non-oil economic growth.
But Riyadh-based Jadwa Investment said that it doubted production of shale would rise "as fast as most observers suggest."