Highly-anticipated annual reports from both the IEA and BP lay out the extent of the North American output boom. This has so far more-or-less counterbalanced outages at core OPEC and Middle East producers. But, with violence in Iraq ramping up by the day, this run of ‘apparent stability’ may be coming to an end. Iraq had been slated to be the key source of global incremental barrels over the next five years.

Rapid growth in US shale output saw OPEC’s share of global oil production fall by a full percentage point to 42.4% for 2013, according to BP’s latest Statistical Review, released this week. (CONTINUED - 860 WORDS)