The geopolitical effects of the advent of North American shale oil have been rapid and spectacular in late 2014 with the US reinforced as a global power and the likes of Russia, Venezuela, Iran and others cast onto the back foot on the global stage. In our own pockets we will have noticed the sharp drop in the cost of filling the tank at the pumps over the Christmas holidays. As the US economy powers ahead, European export companies are now faced with the opportunities presented by a lower Euro-Dollar exchange rate combined with historically low interest rates and falling energy costs.