Leaked Cables Show U.S. Concern over Saudi "Peak Oil"

10 Feb

Confidential cables published by WikiLeaks suggest that the U.S. is worried about declining production capabilities and stated oil reserves of Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest producer of oil.

The cables were written between 2007-2009, including the time of global oil price peaks in 2008.

One exchange warned that Saudi Aramco, the state oil production company, no longer possessed the ability to influence global prices by raising oil output.

“A series of major project delays and accidents over the last couple of years is evidence that Saudi Aramco is having to run harder to stay in place – to replace the decline in existing production,” the cable read.

Another cable warned Saudi Aramco may have overstated its recoverable reserves by as much as 40%, or approximately 300 billion barrels.

Dr. Saded al-Husseini, a former exploration engineer and board member of Aramco, said based on current production rates, Saudi Arabia would likely reach the “peak oil” inflection point – where new production cannot sufficiently make up declining older fields – in around 17 years.  By that time, peak oil for the world as a whole will have already come and gone.

This contradicts other recent statements from Aramco executives, who have boasted that their levels of oil production can be maintained for a century.  Read more..

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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Oil, Traditional Energy


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