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Will the development of shale gas and the resulting lack of dependancy on saudi oil cause a revolution in Saudi Arabia.

Currently Saudi Arabia still has one of the lowest levels of female rights anywhere in the world, it also openly represses anyone who speaks out against its government. This is possible for two reasons, the high level of income due to western dependancy on Saudi oil allows king Abdullah to provide incredibly large benefits packages, which keep the people satisfied, and the American support brought about by America's dependancy on the oil prevents other countries trying to attack Saudi Arabia for fear of starting a war with America. With the development of Shale Gas and the resulting loss of dependancy on Saudi Oil, could this create the environment necessary for a revolution to take place in Saudi Arabia.

  • Apr 1 2014: I'm not so sure about a revolution in Saudi Arabia, but I am sure that it will cause a severe shortage of drinkable water in the USA. In 2012, the USDA gave energy companies the right to destroy (through pollution) another 1,500 aquifers. In the face of decreasing water (due to climate change and terrible farming practices), revolutions in Saudi Arabia seem a silly thing to think about in comparison.
  • Mar 30 2014: Human nature compels us to indulge in things like luxuries and revolution. As oil becomes more scarce (making shale gas more lucrative) the Saudi women will be too busy getting luxuries to market, and indulging in them, to indulge in revolution.
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    Mar 29 2014: Do Saudi citizens need a revolution? Are they disgruntled? Are Saudi women yearning for Western-styled 'freedom'?
    All these are important questions. Saudi Arabia is an Islamic state, with its own culture and systems and peculiarities. Revolution should not come because someone who lives in some distant land thinks Saudi women would look good in miniskirts.

    The people shall govern.
  • Mar 28 2014: I believe growth in India and China will more than consume the extra oil available on the world market.
  • Mar 27 2014: Currently, the US imports 13% of the oil used from Saudi Arabia and 20% from the middle east. This is going down. I do not think there will be an revolution by the US cutting back on Saudi oil. There will be other markets for the Saudi oil but the price may go down. The price drop will hurt other countries more than Saudi Arabia.

    What will cause a revolution is the growth of an educated middle class, both male and female.
    • Mar 27 2014: But would you not agree that the only way for that to happen, would be for a revolution of some kind to take place. Because at the moment the people are relatively happy with what they have, as they have a reasonable amount of wealth which allows them to live comfortably even in repression. And I am of the opinion that if the money was reduced and the people's quality of life decreased, then they would be more likely to revolt.
      • Mar 28 2014: Rupert,

        I am not sure. I look at revolutions and many if not all were driven by the middle class being unhappy.