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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.

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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
[ Parent ]
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
[ Parent ]

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