Despite US boom, MidEast still key: Crescent CEO
Despite the United States' boom in fracking-related oil production, the U.S. and rest of the world are still dependent on the Middle East for oil and gas reserves, Majid Jafar, the CEO of Crescent Petroleum, told CNBC.
"North America isn't independent from what's going on in the Middle East," he said. "It... still has roughly half the world's reserves, and for regional players like us, some of the foreign companies leaving actually opens up opportunities."
Crescent Petroleum is the Middle East's oldest private oil & gas company and is based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
(Read more: Steady oil market at risk from sabotage, instability)
Jafar said that the Middle East had clearly lost capacity on the world markets over the last few years because of political unrest in the region, and that the U.S. had taken up that flak.
This mirrored the comments of BP CEO Bob Dudley, who told CNBC that the oil market has had a "remarkable three years" with prices stable at around $100 per barrel as supply disruption in North Africa and the Middle East was matched by an unexpected increase in production from the U.S.
(Read more: US crude production continues relentless rise: IEA)
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said this week that U.S.crude output for 2013 outstripped its projections from a year ago by around 455 kb/d, and noted that "U.S. crude oil supply in 2013 registered the fastest absolute annual supply growth of any country in the last two decades, rising 15 percent in 2013."
But Jafar still emphasized the abundance of opportunity in the Middle East and that the shale gas boom in North America had acted as a catalyst for increased production in the region.
"The low cost reserves are in still in the Middle East, there is a lot of opportunity there," he said. "I actually think the shale gas revolution in North America has revitalised the whole oil and gas sector, and for independent players, that's where you're seeing the big value addition."