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It was OPEC's reserves - Saudi Arabia in specific - that I had in mind.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Aug 4th, 2009 at 03:18:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm an economist by training, and as such I just assume  that the oil will run out sometime, and before that happens the price will go sky high.

Having said that, if the 6 billion people on this planet are going to survive this change, then we need to start thinking about it now. When the IEA starts to sound alarms, and when oil company execs  talk about it in public, then the message might just start getting through.

by senilebiker on Tue Aug 4th, 2009 at 04:13:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your memory serves you well.

Oil reserves - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are doubts about the reliability of official OPEC reserves estimates, which are not provided with any form of audit or verification that meet external reporting standards.[19]

Since a system of country production quotas was introduced in the 1980s, partly based on reserves levels, there have been dramatic increases in reported reserves among Opec producers. In 1983, Kuwait increased its proven reserves from 67 Gbbl (10.7×10^9 m3) to 92 Gbbl (14.6×10^9 m3). In 1985-86, the UAE almost tripled its reserves from 33 Gbbl (5.2×10^9 m3) to 97 Gbbl (15.4×10^9 m3). Saudi Arabia raised its reported reserve number in 1988 by 50%. In 2001-02, Iran raised its proven reserves by some 30% to 130 Gbbl (21×10^9 m3), which advanced it to second place in reserves and ahead of Iraq. Iran denied accusations of a political motive behind the readjustment, attributing the increase instead to a combination of new discoveries and improved recovery. No details were offered of how any of the upgrades were arrived at.[19][20]

The following table illustrates these rises.

And OPEC has more then half of the world's estimated reserves. So yeah, any number is a stab in the dark.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Aug 4th, 2009 at 04:27:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes and no...

Seriously, go read that link. I don't understand all the technical details, but what I do understand looks rock solid.

And it says essentially one thing: Saudi Arabia should speak of Peak Oil in past tense only.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 5th, 2009 at 05:30:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that is well... Well, I can't say with any kind of security that the Saudis won't be able to stay on the current plateau for more than a decade. They might well be producing as much in 2015, 2020 or 2025 as they do today. Now, if they increase production from current levels they won't be able to stay on a plateau for as long.

But guys, if there are two places in the world where there still is easy abundant oil, that's Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Aug 5th, 2009 at 05:38:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Stocks appear to have reached a permanently high plateau."

- Irving Fisher

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 5th, 2009 at 05:57:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
During my 2 year stay in Kuwait, I attended a couple of seminar symposiums on Kuwait long term plans and another on CCS ( Carbon capture and sequestration)

What becomes abundantly clear is that for the the Kuwait oil ministry, it is far cheaper to cap an old well, and drill a new hole in another field than to embark on secondary or tertiary recovery.

The result is that existing fields are capped with 50% of the oil still in the ground, and this oil is effectively lost for ever.

The economics are something like $6 a barrel for a new well, vs $45 per barrel for tertiary recovery.

As they estimate having 150 years of reserves, they don't really care.

by senilebiker on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 03:30:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think any country runs recovery rates over 50 %... By the way, what happened to that Kuwaiti parliament review about their reserves bing overstated by 100 %, being 50 billion barrels instead of 100?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 09:35:13 AM EST
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I meant to say that any numbers based on official reserve estimates are just guesses. And I guess that is what IEA does.

The way the bits and pieces from technical fields are gathered at the Oil Drum is another approach, and a rather impressive one.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 03:53:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Over at The Oil Drum about a year ago Saniford did a very nice model of the Ghawar field using data from as late as  2004.  

(Saudi reserves may be "whatever they say they are," but Saudi oil actually exported can be pieced together with some precision.  From this you can work backward to the fields.  And Saniford had access to much more production data than that.)  

He had--as a prediction--Ghawar peaking within a year of 2005.  But that is not the kicker.  The punchline is that in 2004 Ghawar was already not half, but 2/3 depleted--with production being maintained by elaborate upgrades in technology.  This technological miracle is not exactly good news, as it means the fall from peak will be far, far steeper than the rise to peak.  Ghawar will be going down hard.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Tue Aug 11th, 2009 at 06:09:40 AM EST
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There was a study mentioned in one of the Robert Baer books I read, Sleeping with the Devil, in which it was argued that the data suggests Ghawar is mostly full of water at this point, and that the country's total reserves are probably only going to last a couple more decades.  By that, he didn't mean peak.  (I believe the book was written in 2003, and he was talking about it peaking within the next couple of years.  I think Ghawar peaked in 2004 or 2005.)  He meant, "The country will be broke and the crazies will be storming Riyadh."

The only two countries in the Middle East with any serious untapped resources, as far as I know, are Iran and Iraq.  Once again, even setting aside the issue of climate change and whether peak oil might be desirable in its ability to make us finally shape up rather than frightening, our alliances are completely nonsensical in that region.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 7th, 2009 at 08:31:00 AM EST
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The US don't do alliances, remember?

Real Men Go To Teheran.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Aug 7th, 2009 at 10:55:09 AM EST
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