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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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