US-based Deloitte’s annual Oil & Gas Reality Check report, published in early July, says the development of North American shale gas and tight oil reserves is promoting transformational change in the US economy, but will not seriously undermine Washington’s commitment to the stability of Middle East oil exporters.

“We believe that predictions of US disengagement from the Middle East are overstated,” says the report. “A disruption of Middle East oil supplies will reverberate back to the US domestic market regardless of whether the region remains a major source of crude imports or not…. With no clear alternative to the US military for maintaining the balance of power in the region and with important allies to protect, the US will remain engaged for the foreseeable future.”

Deloitte says the US could become a net gas exporter by the end of this decade and that the ban on the export of American crude could be lifted.

The firm also says Opec’s influence is waning because of the growing importance of non-Opec oil and gas and divisions in the organisation.

“New sources of supply will shake up the global hydrocarbons markets in the next decade,” says Kenneth McKellar, Deloitte’s Middle East energy and resources leader. “Increased US domestic output, as well as production growth in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Kazakhstan will reshape global oil and gas markets and the geopolitical landscape. We are likely to see decreased dominance of traditional producers, mainly Opec countries and Russia… and they will be forced to compete more aggressively to maintain their market share and influence.”

Deloitte’s Oil & Gas Reality Check 2014 report can be found here.