The business section of today's Daily Telegraph has a small piece which sees BP pitching for tax breaks to encourage further investment in oil and gas resources.
Of more long term significance is arguably the penultimate paragraph of Andrew Critchlow's article, which reminds us that:
"According to the International Energy Agency, the US will overtake both Russia and Saudi Arabia by 2015 in oil production and will achieve energy self-sufficient over the next 20 years".
This refers to an IEA announcement last November, based on the Americans succesful use of shale. If we take all this at face value (and it presupposes the environmentalists critique of shale comes to naught) the day when the USA has no strategic interest at all in the Middle East moves a step closer.
A decade ago, the 9/11 Commission, in its report into the Al Qaeda attacks on the US, stated that the United States and Saudi Arabia needed to forge a new relationship, one that was about more than oil. Nothing much appears to have followed that call, save for America's retreat from Iraq, and its distancing from Egypt, where the Russians and Saudis are jostling to be best friends to the new military regime.
Could there be anything better for the US than waving goodbye to the Middle East, waving goodbye to its corrupt rulers, religious extremists, violence and wars? We may be a few years away from that reality, but when it comes, it would be nice to think that the UK, on this issue at least, is prepared to copy the United States.